The primary goal of home health care is to make sure that both the patient and their family will be able to maintain their independence and dignity. Today, more than 7 million people in the United States alone are in need of home health care services, specifically those provided by home health care nurses. Patients who need home health care are often those who suffer from long-tern health problems, acute illness, terminal illness, and permanent disability.
Registered nurses practice their profession in different areas of the health care industry. These areas not just limit to the hospital setting but also assisted living centers, nursing homes, and home health care. Home health care nursing is becoming popular these days all because a lot of patients and families are now after receiving proper care at the comfort of their own home. The history of home health care goes back to public health nursing where public health nurses are required t make home visits to provide treatment and promote health education as part of the outreach programs of the community. Currently, academic programs now offer training for nurses who want to specialize in providing home health care services to recovering individuals or ailing individuals as well as their families. Typically, the academic institution where these nurses must receive their training from has established a close relationship with home health agencies that are in need of these nurses.
Home health nurses are just like any other registered nurse who has acquired the necessary skills and experience in providing nursing services. However, once a registered nurse chooses the path of being a home health nurse, there are certain responsibilities that are expected from them that they are well trained for than your typical nurse. Basically, home health nurses deal with a wide array of treatments. Aside from giving medical attention, they also offer health education and emotional support to their patients who are recovering from injury or illness, women who have just given birth, and the elderly who need palliative care for their chronic conditions.
A home health nurse must have the necessary skills to be able to provide the needs that their patient requires in a more unique setting, specifically, another person’s home. The nurse should be establishing a working relationship with the patient and their family. He or she must possess and utilize the necessary communication skills to establish such a dynamic relationship. Rapport is crucial for nurses to be able to function to the best of their ability in caring for their patients. However, it becomes more challenging to establish rapport when a nurse is working in a different setting where the patient is more comfortable with their surroundings than the nurse. That being said, you can expect a home health nurse to have a different set of skills and understanding that you do not usually get from most nurses. Since the nurse will no longer be working in a health care team setting, he or she must know how to make independent decisions that will benefit the patient and the family as a whole. Simply put, the nurse must now be part of the family team in the home of the patient. A home health nurse must be sensitive enough towards the cultural values of the patient and their family. Lastly, he or she must have excellent skills in assessment, critical thinking, communication, coordination, and documentation.