According to the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, home health nursing is one of the fastest growing segments of the nursing profession. For nurses that love working with patients, but are looking for a change of pace, a career in home health nursing may be the right fit. Here is everything you need to know about working as a home health nurse.
The Role of a Home Health Nurse
Home health care is a rapidly growing field that offers many benefits for both RNs and LPNs/LVNs like flexibility and autonomy. Home health nurses play an important role in the overall healthcare system.
A home health nurse provides direct one-on-one patient care in the home setting. They provide individualized nursing care and support to patients who are unable to travel to a hospital or require more consistent care in their homes.
These nurses visit patients of all ages in their homes, assisting them with activities of daily living, monitoring their health status, and providing education and support. They also often work with patients who have chronic health conditions.
Home Health Nurse Requirements
Before getting started in home health care, nurses will need to assess what experience and skills are required of this unique setting to see if it’s the right fit. The duties of a home health nurse may vary depending on the needs of the patient, however, there are some common duties that all home health nurses must perform.
Duties of a home health nurse include:
- Assess patients’ needs and develop care plans
- Travel to multiple patients’ homes and act as a case manager
- Provide direct patient care, such as wound care, injections, and catheter care
- Monitor patients’ health status and vital signs
- Educate patients and their families on self-care and disease management
- Provide emotional support to patients and their families
No matter what the job responsibilities are, it is important that home health nurses have a strong foundation in both the technical and interpersonal aspects of care. Some of these skills are technical, such as knowing how to properly administer medication or how to dress a wound. Others are more interpersonal skills, such as being able to effectively communicate with patients and their families. With this foundation, they will be better able to provide quality care to patients in their homes.
Important skills for home health care:
- Ability to work independently
- Documentation and time management
- Organizational and communication skills
- Compassion and empathy
How to Get Started
If you’re ready to take the next step in your home health nursing career, you may be wondering how to get started. To become a home health nurse, you’ll need to complete a nursing program and hold an active nursing license. Since the job requires traveling between patients, you also need a driver’s license and reliable transportation.
Some jobs will require at least one year of clinical experience in home health or a similar specialty working with specific populations like adult or geriatric patients. Home health nurses need to have active BLS/ACLS certification and many positions will prefer OASIS and HomeCare HomeBase EMR experience as well.
Jobs for Home Health Nurses
Home health nurses typically work for home health agencies, though some may be employed by hospitals or other health care organizations. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in home health nursing, you’ll need to find a staffing agency that’s a good fit for you.
At Supplemental Health Care, we have a dedicated Home Health & Hospice division with years of experience in this unique setting. Search our job portal for home health nurse jobs both locally and across the country. Our expert recruiting team is looking forward to working with you!
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