What is a Home Care Nurse?

The field of nursing offers many fulfilling variations of career path, home nurse being one that has grown in popularity over the past few years. This aspect of the profession requires some special skill sets, and fills a public need of increasing urgency. Below, we’ll discuss what tasks and duties a home nurse assumes, and why they offer a specialized but critical form of care to many private individuals.

What They Do

A home care nurse is generally the equivalent of a temporary private nurse, according to Registered Nurse RN. They are responsible for educating patients and family, treating the symptoms of diseases, illnesses, or disabilities, just as they would be in any other care setting. However, working in a private home calls for advanced skills not specifically required in any other arena.

Not only must they function as a working part of a family household, communicating with other members of the family and the patient, but they must also coordinate the care requirements with the physicians who treat the patient. Additionally, any medication prescribed must be obtained, administered and documented appropriately. If their patient requires in-home physical therapy, they may also fill this role.

Moving Away from the Nursing Home

In the previous generation, nursing homes and assisted living facilities were the primary destination for the elderly. These institutions filled the limbo between the time when we would care for our parents and grandparents in our own homes and the current development of home care. The factors for this are several. Both sexes of the baby boomer generation moved into the workforce in unprecedented numbers, which left few individuals at home to care for aging parents or other relatives.

The logical solution was the proliferation of care facilities staffed with nurses, doctors, and companion employees. However, as a large portion of the American public, the Baby Boomers are less willing to enter these establishments themselves. Many retain their faculties and suffer only slightly age-related disabilities. Coupled with their children’s heightened awareness of the need for personalized care, the healthcare industry has adapted yet again to fill the niche.

No Age Requirements

Private nurses aren’t simply for the elderly, though. They are highly trained individuals who provide care to patients of all ages, with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses that run the gamut of patient needs. They may care for individuals who require assistance with everyday tasks due to paralysis or a motor neuron disease such as ALS. Whether their patient is recovering from an infectious disease, a serious injury, has a life-long disability that requires management and care, or are employed in a similar fashion to hospice nurses, these professionals are equipped with a wide array of skills, from management of household social dynamics to ensuring medication is properly administered and documented. They are among the most broadly qualified nursing professionals at work today, which is quite a commendation.

Related Resource: Travel Nurse

Whether an individual is entering their golden years and requires a bit of help and companionship to make staying at home feasible or a young person requires assistance learning to manage a disability, these nurses are on the job. They fill many roles of healthcare and perform a wide array of skilled tasks within the private household, which often renders them indispensable members of the informal family. Whatever the situation, a home care nurse provides excellent care for those in need, without requiring lengthy hospital stays, hospice reservations, or removal to an assisted living facility.