The field of home nursing care encompasses a wide range of nurses, and the duties assigned to them vary with each person. At home, nursing care professionals work under the supervision of registered nurses. They can provide essential assistance in daily activities, including bathing, dressing, and walking. Depending on the patient’s needs, a variety of services may be provided, such as help with bathing, moving, toileting, or exercising. May require other services for severe conditions or special care for people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Care professionals work under different names, depending on where they work. Home Health Aide, Personal Care Aide, Home Healthcare Professional, and Personal Hygienist are a few examples of the terms used to describe these professionals. A home health aide is a direct service provider who provides direct health care services to the client. On the other hand, a personal care aide provides personal hygiene services and nurtures a relationship with the client. A home healthcare professional offers expert medical care to a patient, while a home health aide provides direct support and guidance in the patient’s care.
The tasks and responsibilities of in-home specialists, nursing care professionals are similar to those of the registered nurse, except that certified nurse assistants are usually not allowed to give medication directly to patients. Instead, the client must take pills as needed, under the supervision of the professional providing the medicine. As in the case of RNAs, care professionals are also trained to administer medications to patients who have severe conditions or are at risk of developing severe illnesses or diseases. Certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and home healthcare professionals all provide the same types of care to the public but differ in many ways, such as training requirements, pay rates, and length of experience.
As in any profession, the wages paid to in-home nursing care professionals vary greatly, depending on education level, geographic area, and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified nursing assistants make an average wage of $13 for every hour of work. Care professionals making an extra dollar per hour tend to work in private practice or contract nursing jobs. Highly experienced individuals may work for large health care firms, such as hospitals or insurance companies, or work for home health agencies providing nursing care to many patients in a short period.
There are many reasons why people hire in-home specialized nursing care professionals. These individuals may need direct care in an emergency such as bleeding or a broken bone, or they may be caring for the highly elderly, such as disabled or cognitively impaired. In cases of the elderly, home health aides may also act as legal witnesses, helping a legal representative of a patient fight a court battle or assist the attorney in presenting their case. Home healthcare workers may also perform other complex tasks, such as administering medication, gathering important information from those in the recovery phase, or documenting a patient’s progress.
One benefit of in-home specialized nursing care is that it usually requires fewer medical supplies that must be rented or purchased from the hospital or nursing care provider. For example, medications or medical devices bought at a drugstore may be enough for an in-home care professional, depending on their experience and the patient’s condition. However, in some situations, medical equipment that is too expensive to buy from a store may be needed, especially for specialized procedures or for those requiring more than one dose of a medicine or treatment. In this instance, the care professional may have to obtain their equipment. Alternatively, the hospital or care provider may provide the necessary equipment, or the care professional can order it for them through a prescription or other means.
In some situations, the nurse or care professional performing in-home specialized nursing care will take over the daily administrative responsibilities, such as dispensing medicine, preparing meals, cleaning and dressing wounds, and helping patients with exercise and muscle-tone rehabilitation. It is widespread in long-term care facilities where there is a need for consistent doses of medication and other treatments, but it is unnecessary for most situations. In this case, the caregiver has only to administer the prescribed medicine and not have to do any other work. If the caregiving professional is not a registered nurse, they would be considered a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who supervises. In most cases, however, nurses will take over these duties unless they are requested to do so by a doctor. A doctor will recommend an LPN for specific reasons, including the ability to recognize and administer medication correctly and other factors such as proper hygiene and body posture.
Even though in-home specialized nursing care can be less formal than a hospital or nursing care facility, the opportunities for professional growth are excellent. Patients tend to view nurses as someone who comes to provide simple relief from their symptoms and often do not give much thought to how these same nurses go about their daily business. However, nurses can use their experience to help patients gain confidence in themselves and take care of their healthcare. It can also help them develop better communication skills, which can help them in their employment opportunities in the long term. For this reason, many hospitals and nursing facilities are encouraging more in-home specialized nursing care to ensure that their staff is fully trained to offer the best patient care possible.