Home Healthcare Nursing
What is Home Health Care Nursing?
Home health care nursing simply refers to nurses who care for patients in their homes. Though these patients remain at home, they are unable to live completely independently and require assistance from a nurse. Home health care clients are often elderly, but they can be any age. Home health care nurses often work with the same clients for an extended period of time, allowing them to form rewarding, long-term relationships.
Home Health Care Nursing Job Description
The job description or typical day in the life of a home health care nurse depends largely on the patient he or she is charged with. These nurses are responsible for a variety of tasks, depending on the needs of each patient. According to Johnson & Johnson, home health care nurses manage and administer medication and help patients gain physical independence. Some day-to-day activities might involve assisting patients with bathing and other hygienic tasks, helping them to dress, replacing bandages or dressings, helping them to eat or serving meals, and assisting with mobility.
Home health care organizations are likely to employ LPNs, LVNs, or RNs. While at one time there was a registered nursing certification for this specialization, the ANCC no longer offers the option to become a certified home health care nurse.
It is difficult to estimate salary for home health care nurses, as this information is dependent on many different factors, including location, education, experience, and employer. Johnson & Johnson estimates that home health care nurses make between $39,000 and $55,000 per year.
The job outlook for registered nursing is excellent, with 26% expected job growth from 2010 to 2020 reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. As of 2010, about 5% of the 2.7 million registered nurses worked in home health care. The outlook for LPNs/LVNs is also positive with 22% expected growth. In 2010, 9% of LPNs worked in home health care.
What Are Some Skills and Qualifications For A Home Healthcare Nurse?
- Current state licensure
- Understanding and complying with accepted professional nursing standards and practices
- Pre-employment health clearance
- Med/surg/critical care nursing experience
- Medicare, Medicaid and insurance knowledge
- Ability to work as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary home health care team member
- Working with little or no supervision
- Flexibility in nursing role
- Cooperating with all members of the team
- Licensed driver with insured automobile. Vehicle must be in good working order
- Teaching patient to become a functioning member of his team by assisting in own care, if possible
- Adhering to state and agency quality standards of care
- Infection control
- Charting daily care and progress notes
- Meeting with members of the team
- Maintaining patient confidentiality
- Troubleshooting equipment such as oxygen tanks and IVs
- Maintaining in-home nursing supplies
- Continuing education maintenance
- Pediatric nursing care knowledge
- Geriatric nursing care knowledge
- Administering medicine
- Hospice care knowledge
Daily routines vary depending on home health work venue, client needs, and experience.
- The National Association for Home Care and Hospice
- The American Association for HomeCare
- American Nurses Credentialing Center: A subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Certification resources for the nursing professional.
- Home Healthcare Nurse Journal: Professional journal for home healthcare and hospice nurses focusing on the interdisciplinary care and issues besetting the field.