Hospitals play a vital role in the modern health care system by delivering the type of specialized, 24/7 care that saves lives and promotes healing among those battling serious injury or illness. While most people recognize on an intellectual level how lucky they are to have access to these facilities when they need them most, few people actually enjoy being a patient there. In fact, it often seems like the vast majority of people being cared for by hospitals cannot wait to leave. They wish to go home, sleep in their own bed, and be surrounded by their own belongings. A home health nurse helps to make this possible sooner rather than later. What does a home health nurse do?
Hospitalizations can be scary and disruptive, so patients and their families often rejoice when they receive word that they can go home. However, many people who are released from a medical facility still require a daunting amount of specialized care. That is where home health care nurses come in. These highly trained professionals bring quality health care into the home setting by providing skilled medical services to patients considered homebound.
What does a home health nurse do? Defining exactly what a home health nurse does on an average day can be challenging because every day is a little different. A home health nurse’s daily to-do list depends on exactly what services the patients need, and these can vary widely.
Where Does a Home Health Nurse Work?
While many nurses spend their days roaming the halls of hospitals and doctor’s offices, home health nurses hit the road and travel to their patients’ residences to provide them with necessary care in the comfort of their own homes. Sometimes they provide long-term care to a patient dealing with a chronic health condition. In other cases, they may work with someone for a matter of weeks while they recover from an acute health crisis like an injury, illness, or surgery.
What Qualities Help a Home Health Nurse Succeed?
As licensed nurses providing services in more isolated settings without the comfort of a coworker next door, home health care nurses need to be confident in their skills and comfortable functioning independently. Strong time-management skills and a flair for organization are also valuable traits. In addition, compassion, an ability to communicate clearly, and solid interpersonal skills are vital so that the nurse can interact effectively with patients.
What Services Can a Home Health Nurse Provide?
What does a home health nurse do during a visit to a patient’s home? In addition to offering support and encouragement, a registered nurse working as a home health nurse is capable of providing a wide array of skilled health care services. The following tasks are often completed by a home health care nurse:
- Managing a patient care plan
- Assessing the patient’s health condition and their environment
- Documenting skilled observations, including vital signs and symptoms
- Administering medications and injections
- Administering IV therapy
- Providing care and cleaning for open wounds
- Delivering wound care and dressing changings for all kinds of wounds
- Supporting diabetic self-management
- Performing Foley catheter insertions
- Assisting with bowel/bladder training
- Reinserting nasogastric feeding tubes
- Performing disimpaction treatments
In addition, a home health care nurse is often called on to serve as an educator. During their visits to a patient’s home, they may teach the patient or the patient’s primary caregiver to perform certain basic tasks safely. A home health care nurse often teaches information and techniques involving the following topics:
- Administering an injection
- Administering medication, including oxygen therapy and inhalants
- Caring for a Foley catheter
- Caring for an ostomy
- Caring for a tracheostomy
- Providing nasogastric feedings
- Providing gastrostomy feedings
- Providing parenteral nutrition
At Phoenix Home Care, we are sincerely committed to delivering compassionate, effective care that betters the quality of life of those we serve. With our skilled home health services, we are ready to provide skilled health care services to homebound patients who meet the criteria for Medicare home health coverage. Has an illness, injury, or medical condition left you or someone you love unable to leave home without the assistance of others, the use of special transportation, or the aid of various supportive devices? Our team of highly trained home health nurses can bring the top-notch health care services that you need to thrive directly to your residence. To learn more about us, our services, or the criteria for home health care or to request our assistance, contact Phoenix Home Care today.