Home healthcare nurses are an integral part of a home healthcare program. They perform more or less the same duties that they would in a hospital environment, except that they work in patients’ homes. Their presence makes it easy for patients to cope with the rigors of illnesses and medical treatments.
Typically, home healthcare nurses are registered nurses. They treat a variety of patients such as the elderly, the terminally ill and the disabled. They are required to handle each situation according to the individual patient’s diagnosis. And it is up to them to make sure that the patients under their wing are kept comfortable.
Recently, many home healthcare nurses are being employed to provide dedicated care to people suffering from chronic illnesses brought on by autoimmune diseases. Nurses who are employed in this capacity are required to be knowledgeable about popular chronic illnesses such as Lupus, MS, Graves Disease and Fibromyalgia.
To be eligible for this position, one has to be skilled in many areas including administering medication and handling emergency situations. Working as a home healthcare nurse is a little more challenging than working in a hospital environment. For the former, you are usually the only source of emotional support for the patient and it can be overwhelming at times. But if you have it in you to provide both physical and emotional support simultaneously, you are a winner.
Here is what you will be doing on a typical day working as a home healthcare nurse:
• Study patients’ physical and mental medical histories
• Assist in creating and implementing individualized plans of care based on patients’ histories
• Monitor patients’ physical and mental conditions and ensure that they are being given proper care at both ends
• Provide support by handling light housekeeping and laundry services
• Administer oral medication and injectable medicines in accordance to each patient’s medical charts
• Take and record vitals such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature
• Assist in handling personal needs such as bathing, dressing, toileting and grooming
• Prepare meals according to specified dietary needs of patients and assist them in partaking them
• Provide emergency services in cases of crises by administering CPR and / or First Aid
• Re-evaluate patients’ needs for nursing care and provide feedback to primary healthcare professionals
• Observe patients for signs of physical and / or mental distress and report to assigned physician immediately
• Assist in initiating both preventative and rehabilitative nursing procedures to help patients reach their health goals
• Provide emotional support to patients by talking them through distressing situations