What is Home Health Nursing?
Nurses are one who provides medical care services to the patients in the variety of settings. A doctor only provides treatment and diagnoses the patients, but nurses with their care and support help them to heal quickly. They are the backbone, of any hospital. Therefore, there are many fields or specialties of nursing to serve any patient. One such is home health nursing. Here you will get the job description of health care nurse.
A nursing, specialty, home health nursing is one where the nurses provide home care services to the patients of different ages. The nurse of a home health care serves the different type of medical services to the patients in their home. Very Few patients require home medical care; these are the one who does not need enough monitoring or diagnosis to be inpatient in the hospital. All they need is the extra care in the vicinity of home. Therefore, these nurses play a vital role in the life of such patients.
These nurses make plans based on the goals to be achieved for effective recovery in the health of their clients. They create preventive, rehabilitative and therapeutic plans. With their assessment and support, patients recover faster, and the major role is played by the environment in which they get treatment. One of their roles is to supervise certified nursing assistants that work under their supervision.
Job Duties and Responsibilities of Home Health Nurse
Since these nurses serve the medical care and treatment for the convenience of patients, thus their roles and duties are slightly different than the other nurses. Various factors decide a home health nurse performs obligations. These factors are such as the health condition of a patient, recovery process, etc. Possibilities are less that the person will need the intense treatment because a home health care nurse will provide the aftercare services to their clients.
Nurses perform tasks such as assessment, recording vital signs of recovery, giving medication and other. They also perform tasks such as dressing changes, wound care, change catheters and administer IV medication. Some patient requires the different environment in which they can recover fast. Healthy surroundings, extra care, physical and emotional support helps in showing vital signs of recovery. A healthcare nurse also guides the other member of a family to behave in a particular manner to assess the patient.
Some people those who are suffering from chronic medical conditions like congestive heart, etc. require home health care services. In case of acute injury or illness need of such services prove beneficial. Thus the role and duties of these nurses are very vast, and they vary according to the medical conditions of the person. It also varies as per the individual credentials. But the basic duties that a home health nurse has to perform are as follows:
What registered home health nurse do?
- Assessing as per the need of patients
- By their need, they create a care plan
- To give the individual care, they have to collaborate with other physicians, family, and additional stuff.
- Supervise the nurse assistants and direct LVNs
- Monitor or track the record of the patient’s progress
- Case management and direct nursing care
LVNs are responsible for:
- Give task-based nursing care
- Collect data and present records to RN
Nursing assistants perform:
- Task-based care
- Report findings to RNs
They perform the wide range of duties, services and in addition to these they also consult about the status of the person with the doctors and provide feedback. If any changes are needed, then they change their care plan. Their role is similar to the case managers and they also coordinate services that include the pharmacy, rehabilitation, and community resources. To provide the effective care to the clients, they must stay up-to-date and gather information about the latest changes in the field of nursing.
What Do They Do?
In the list of their patients, most are elderly and disabled persons. Such people require care with more focus and attention. People recovering from an accident may also require their support. Thus, they have to do all the above tasks to serve the specialized care to these peoples. In addition to these responsibilities, some health care nurses have to offer custodial care such as getting dressed, bathing, eating and other. They work 24/7 day and night to help them recover fast.
Home Health Nurse Skills and Qualifications
Home health nursing has the certain level. Despite these levels, it is important to value the centered family care, individualized care, and autonomy. To begin a career in this specialty of nursing, a person must have to decide whether they want to become a nurse assistant, RN or LVN. Below are the basic educational requirements that one should have to pursue a career in nursing.
1. Complete a nursing program
One must complete the diploma in nursing, or may complete a course of associate or bachelor program in nursing. It is a course or program of Two years that is available in any vocational, community and technical colleges where the courses are combined with the general education courses. In this course a student complete clinical practicum, coursework and laboratory work.
In a bachelor degree program, a student gets the general or basic education and thus requires completing an upper division course in the nursing unit. The program is of two-year duration that also includes laboratory and clinical components.
In addition to this, a student can work as a volunteer in the organizations that offer opportunities to get a chance to understand and develop skills to deal with the patients. It is the right way to know whether the career is right or not according to their interest and future goals.
2. Become Licensed
Students have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse after getting a nurse degree. They may also require meeting the state requirements that vary from one state to another. Those who passed the exam become eligible to get the license of RNs by the state. Many organizations and colleges help in student passing these exams. They offer preparation courses for NCLEX-RN.
3. Gain experience
To work as home care nurse, one should gain at least one year of experience in nursing. It is mandatory as in some cases they offer critical care to the person at home. One can gain experience by working in the local settings, hospitals, and healthcare.
To make advancement in this field, one can even get the master degree in nursing. However, this additional degree is not mandatory to become a healthcare nurse. One can also pursue APN that is an advanced practice nursing. To become a licensed vocational nurse, one has to complete the accredited nursing program. But, to start a career as nurse assistants, there is no need to get the license as they perform basic task-based care. Apart from the basic qualifications and educational requirements, home health nurses must have some skills or traits.
Essential Skills for Working as Home Healthcare Nurse
1. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal abilities or skills are highly demanded in this profession. They have to spend most of their time in taking care of the patients at home. Thus they must have some basic skills like how to treat patients and their family, how to interact, etc. nurses should be able to build a feeling of trust and care in the heart of clients so that they can work according to their guidance. One must be able to work in the different environment and people and feel comfortable in offering their services.
2. Independent and initiative
Unlike, the hospitals and other settings, there will be no head or senior nurse to supervise their work. Thus, they should be able to take decision and initiative to bring progress in the condition of their clients.
Home health nurses should have the patience to work in all kinds of conditions. In very few cases, patients are unable to communicate or react to the responses efficiently. Thus the home care nurses must be able to understand what they are trying to tell. As they have to work in someone else’s home, thus they must be flexible to work with elderly, adult or child.
4. Clinical skills
During their nursing program, they will learn to work with the different laboratory component. They must learn clinical skills where they will know how to operate the medical equipment set and monitor IVs etc. Any mistake in operating or reading the record of signs and symptoms can cause severe impact on the patient’s health. Therefore, it is necessary for them to develop these skills.
These skills and qualifications are necessary to be a top home healthcare nurse.
Home Health Nurse Salary
Most of them earn by working in the small group home or client’s home or large care facilities. Their salary differs or varies regarding location, experience, employer, and qualifications.
Average home health nurse salary
Bureau of labor statistics, BLS predicts that the occupation in home health nursing will rise by 69% by 2020. This rate of increase is almost double than the expected increase in other healthcare occupations and five times more than other occupations of the medical industry. This much increase is due to the growing and aging population that demands the health care services.
According to the geographic location of work, in 2016 New York City had offered 173,830 jobs to the home health nurses, and there hourly mean wage was $11.61 and an annual mean wage for their work was $24,150. The second in the list was Texas that had offered only 67,180 jobs with $9.88 as an hourly mean wage and an annual mean wage was $20,550. But in Ohio, the average income was more, and it was $21,450 as annual mean wage and the hourly mean wage was $10.31.
As per the Bureau of labor statistics, US, the average wage is $25.49/hour. There is only a slight change in the salary of nurses on the basis of experience thus those with experience of few more years earn only a bit more than those with less experience.
Average Home Health Nurse Salary
|Home Health Nurse||Salary Range|
The above table has shown you the pay scale of these nurses by hourly rate, bonus, overtime and their basic salary.
On the basis of experience, these nurses fall into four categories- entry level, mid-career, experienced and late career. Entry level nurses are those having experience less than 5 years whereas mid-career nurses have experienced more than 5 and less than 10 years. An experienced home health nurse has around 10-20 years of work experience whereas those with more than 20 years fall in the category of late career. Nurses who fall into these categories have different income including their tips, overtime pay and bonuses but as said above there is not much difference in their income.
The data and statistics regarding home health nurse salary are referred from BLS .
The Highest Salary Paying States Are:
|State||Hourly Wage||Annual Mean Wages|
Top Salary Paying Metropolitan Areas :
|Metropolitan Areas||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Top Salary Paying Non Metropolitan Areas
|Non Metropolitan Areas||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|Balance Of Alaskla||$18.12||$37,700|
|Far West North Dakota||$17.21||$35,790|
Although these states pay the highest salary to the nurses working in these areas their income also depends on their qualifications. The income is different for registered nurses, licensed practical nurse or LVNs, and nurse practitioner. Their hourly and weekly wages also vary and thus their annual pay is also different from those working in a various specialty of nurses.
Overall, home health nursing is the right career for those who are passionate to serve the best care for the elderly or disabled persons. Great compassion and dedication is also necessary to serve with full of heart. Apart from perseverance and qualifications, skills of an individual also affect their total pay. Therefore it is crucial to polish or develop the skills necessary to make a good career in this field and to get good pay and job. Those who think that this is the right path for them can opt for the above programs and courses.