Home Health Nursing

Home health nursing refers to the care of acute and chronically ill patients who are homebound or who want to maintain their independence by receiving health care in the home environment. The home health nurse develops and individual health care plan for the patient and helps to keep a balance between medical needs and the patient’s desire to lead as normal of a life as possible.

Patients under the care of home health nursing may have been recently discharged from the hospital or need skilled health care during an illness or recovery. These patients wish to remain independent and in their home; thus the nursing must come to them. The home health nurse provides care for the patient in a series of regular visits.

Home health nursing patients have a wide range of health care needs, and the home health care nurse must have accurate knowledge of a number of procedures and treatments. For example, some home health care needs include medicine administration, changing wound dressings, collecting laboratory specimens, nutritional counseling, AIDS case management, physical, occupational or speech therapies, and hospice care. Home health nurses may need a specialized knowledge of high-tech health care, such as for catheter care and intravenous treatment.

Home health nursing may also encompass educating and working with the patient’s family or community agencies. Some essential skills that a home health nurse needs to possess include strong communication, assessment, and ability to work independently. Communication skills are necessary to educate the patient in becoming more independent in their care. Assessment is needed to detect early signs of problems and intervene.

Patient education is also key in home health nursing. This involves helping patients to become more autonomous and learn self-care. The home health nurse may also teach family members how to become more active in the care of the patient.

To become involved in home health nursing, you will need an advanced nursing degree. The University of Phoenix offers the following online nursing degree programs:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Master of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Or see online LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, or general nursing programs

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