If you or your loved one requires medical observation, constant medical attention, therapy, or general support daily or at least at an intermittent level, employing a home health nurse is the best choice. Many of these healthcare professionals work through different agencies. When you’re considering hiring one and want to get the best help you can get, the nurse must be Medicare-certified and meet the federal requirements for patient care and management.
You can find these professionals through agencies that specialize in hospital staffing or from referrals from your physician or health clinic. But you may wonder, what can they do to manage your health at home? To make it easier for you, here’s everything you need to know about home health nurses, their responsibilities, and what they can do to help you.
Who Are Home Health Nurses?
Home health nurses are healthcare professionals who assist patients in their homes for most of the day, attending to their specific needs. These professionals are not limited to home health care nurses and can include in-home nurses, medical caregivers, home care nurses, and other healthcare professionals. However, most are licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or registered nurses (RNs) certified to provide skilled nursing and patient care to individuals in the comfort of their own homes.
What Can a Home Health Nurse Do?
For many families, having a home health nurse is a beneficial, safe, and affordable solution to support loved ones who need medical attention while allowing them to stay in the comfort of their communities and home. If you’re caring for a loved one or seeking medical assistance for yourself, here are some ways home health nurses can help you.
Home Nurses Supports a Patient in Activities of Daily Living
Home health nurses are eligible and professionally trained to assist with a patient’s basic daily living activities if necessary, helping individuals with personal needs while preserving their dignity and good quality of life. Assistance with activities of daily living includes:
- Bathing or Showering
- Medication Reminders
- Functional mobility
- Toilet Hygiene
Other types of private caregivers, including private duty caregivers and home caregivers, can help with a patient’s daily living activities. However, they aren’t qualified to provide proper medical care that home health nurses offer.
Provides All the Patient’s Medical Needs
Having professional home nurses give you access to skilled nursing care in the comfort of your home. These certified, licensed, and knowledgeable individuals make sure that a patient’s medical needs are met. They’re qualified to administer injections, medications, monitor, and provide different medical treatments and long-term care to varying health conditions. These can include tracheotomy, respiratory, colostomy, diabetes, wound care, and more.
Ensures a Patient’s Diet and Nutrition is Met
Home nurses ensure that your loved ones get the proper nutrition they need daily by practicing nutritional counseling and providing home-cooked meals to patients to fight against malnutrition, helping them stay healthy while at home. This benefit is essential for patients of age, under bed rest, or chronic conditions as they’re likely to be nutritionally at-risk.
Provides Caring Companionship
Studies show that aging adults stay healthier if they experience frequent social interaction. Home nurses can become trusted friends, accompanying patients in their favorite social activities, including reading or watching a movie. Having a home nurse ensures that your loved one’s physical health and mental health are intact.
Before hiring a home nurse, ensure that they have the full range of medical and nursing skills appropriate for your or your loved one’s needs to get the best help while staying in the comfort of your home.