As the U.S. population ages and the proportion of older Americans increases in size, the demand for healthcare is expected to grow significantly. Not only are we going to see a need for clinicians in greater numbers, but we are especially going to see the demand increase in areas of healthcare that can have a positive impact on the overall cost of care. Home healthcare, when used in a coordinated effort to keep patients out of the hospital and compliant with treatment regimens, plays an important part in reducing hospital stays and costly readmissions. Home health care nurses play a vital role in the patient care continuum and in compliance with care regimens that ensure better outcomes.
Home health nursing is one of the many career options available within the nursing profession. It is a choice for registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nurse assistants (NAs). The educational requirements for a home health nurse are dependent on the following nursing certifications:
Home care nurses provide home-based care for patients, typically in the form of follow-up treatment post-discharge from a hospital or other medical care environment. By not being facility-based, home care nurses get to be self-directed and practice efficient time management. They often interact with patients’ families in the course of patient care, so that their clinical proficiency needs to be matched with strong communication skills and comfort with a breadth of cultures and lifestyles. Home health care can be physically demanding and require lifting, turning, or moving patients who need the assistance.
The specific duties of a home health care nurse are largely linked to their credentials and the kinds of care their credentials allow them to provide. Here are some examples:
Many people want to become nurses without necessarily desirous of working in a hospital environment. Here are some of the reasons home healthcare might be the right career choice for them:
nursing.jnj.com, “Five Reasons to Consider a Career as a Home Health Nurse,” June 14, 2017, Retrieved at https://nursing.jnj.com/nursing-news-events/five-reasons-to-consider-a-career-as-a-home-health-nurse.
registerednursing.org, “What Is a Home Health Nurse?,” n.d., Retrieved at https://www.registerednursing.org/specialty/home-health-nurse/.
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