Home Care Nursing 101
The clamor of overhead announcements, beeping machines in patient rooms, and chitchat among staff is a typical scenario in a hustle and bustle hospital. Multiple patients with demands and different instructions from several doctors can be truly stressful. The good news is a hospital is not the only place where nurses can render their service. Home Health Care Service is one field nurses can explore as well.
The outlook for careers in the home care nursing industry should be strong in the coming years. This is mainly due to the aging Baby Boomer generation who will need more specialized health care in this decade. This positive forecast may also be attributed to a growing preference for health care at home and advancement of technologies that allow nurses to perform complex procedures outside a hospital setting. Demand for home care nurses is expected to be even much higher than that of regular staff nurses.
What is Home Care Nursing?
Home care nursing is a specialized area of nursing practice in which the nurse provides care in the client’s home, school, workplace or other community settings. Individuals who receive this type of nursing care have more acute and complex needs, and an increasing amount of their care is provided at home. Home care nursing is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as the care a patient can get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. United Arab Emirates is one of the few countries currently offering this position to Filipino nurses.
What are common misconceptions about Home Care Nursing?
Informal type of nursing. Home care nursing is often mistaken for caregiving or private duty services due to it being conducted outside the hospital.
However, Home care nursing is very different as it is performed by a highly skilled and specialized clinician who intermittently visits a patient’s home to provide nursing or therapy services. The nurse typically visits one to three times per week for a 60-day episode, under a specific plan of care that is overseen by the patient’s primary care physician.
Caregiving or private duty services, on the other hand, involves unskilled aides providing non-medical home services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and companion services. Some private duty servers also provide private, skilled clinical care but it is usually executed in blocks of time and paid for directly by the patient or family members.
Limited career growth. Home care nursing presents numerous opportunities for career growth, but not in the laddered structure that most clinic or hospital nurses are accustomed to.
Home care nursing offers specialized positions such as Charge Nurse or Clinic Educator for those who desire to be promoted. In addition, home care nursing enables you to explore other similar opportunities given your flexible work load and schedule. However, pursuing a promotion is nonobligatory, making career advancement highly dependent on the initiative of the home care nurse. Nurses who have been used to the standard path of getting promoted to SN2 and SN1 through tenure would have to adjust their perspectives in home care nursing by actively carving out their own career growth instead of waiting for a promotion to land on their laps.
What are the advantages of being a Home Care Nurse?
Flexible hours. Home care nursing requires you to work 8 hours a day, but it isn’t always fixed from 8am to 5pm. The schedule of every shift has a lot to do with the type of visits you make everyday. You need to come earlier in the morning if you are scheduled to teach a new diabetic how to use his glucometer and give his morning insulin before breakfast. On another day, you won’t be able to start until 9am if an IV has to be hung. In home care nursing, each day may be different.
Autonomy. Home care nurses experience a high level of independence as they take full charge of their cases. Those who enjoy working on their own thrive in home care nursing as it lets them call their own shots instead of simply taking orders from a superior. This makes home care nurses terrific leaders as they get to treat their patients more holistically, without having to rely on anyone “down the hall” to assist them even during emergency situations.
Mobility. Home care nursing is also for the adventurous: Since your patients are probably located in various parts of the city, home care nursing takes you to different types of places you’d otherwise miss if you’re working at a hospital. Although this would require excellent planning skills, there are so many technologies available to make it easier for you to map out your routes and prepare your transportation to serve your patients. Most agencies compensate you for mileage, and some agencies even have their own company vehicles which you can use.
Opportunity to teach. Home care nursing involves a lot of teaching. There are countless opportunities to teach your patients, their families and/or the patients’ caregivers regarding their care needs. This include showing them how to manage their disease process, giving diet and nutritional instruction, advising them about their medications, providing wound care, changing dressings and many others. Home care nurses are constantly educating and evaluating how well they have learned.
Unique kind of fulfillment. There’s a popular saying that the worst day in home care nursing is still better than the best day at the hospital, and there’s a strong reason why. Home care nursing still includes challenging cases and difficult patients, but it gives nurses a kind of fulfillment like no other. Home care nurses get to fully dedicate themselves to a few patients, consequently letting them deliver the best quality of service. This holistic approach gives more meaning to even the smallest of tasks that they do as they fully share in the journey and progress of their patients from day 1 onwards.
Manzil Home Health Services is one of Abba Personnel Services, Inc.’s clients and is the biggest home health
service provider in the Middle East. In partnership with Cambridge Medical, they belong to a continuum of care provider network that is focused on delivering long term care, rehabilitation, and home healthcare services. Its stringent requirement of employing only well-trained, HAAD and MOH-licensed nurses and allied health care workers ensure patients are skillfully attended to at the comfort of their own homes. Their healthcare personnel is also supported by an efficient adminsitration team that provides seamless communication and management of all nurses, caregivers, patients and families. It was accredited by the Joint Commission International in 2012, the world’s leading and most recognized health care accreditor.
Interested in becoming a Home Care Nurse? Email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial assessment.
Julie Lois M. Lalwet is a Recruitment Assistant in Abba Personnel Services, Inc. She joined our team this year and has been handling clients in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. She graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is also a registered Psychometrician.