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Growing Opportunities for Nurses in Home Health Care

Growing Opportunities for Nurses in Home Health Care

Kathy Quan | NursingLink

Hospice care is also a growing portion of the home care industry, as more and more patients and families opt for comfort care in the end-of-life struggles for themselves and their loved ones. Hospice is getting more high tech as well, as patients increasingly rely on various pumps, tubes, and lines to support their bodily functions and achieve optimum comfort in their end-of-life care. Although active curative treatment is halted when hospice care begins, many tubes and lines remain in place and must be maintained to prevent complications or infections.

Challenges for Home Health Nurses

Patients are coming home sicker with much more intense and high tech care than ever before, and developments in science have made all sorts of technologies portable. It is increasingly crucial that patients, or suitable caregivers, assume responsibility and educate themselves about their health. They need to gain an understanding of their health conditions and learn how to prevent or minimize exacerbations and complications. This trend is only going to continue with the necessary efforts to reduce health care costs.

More responsibility is shifting to the patient from the practitioner and the health care team. Holding patients more accountable for their health status will eventually reduce much of the litigation that has plagued the health care industry for many years and played a huge part in driving the cost of health care to prohibitive heights.

Physicians are not God. Medications and treatments are not the be all and end all. Patients have to learn to incorporate these tools into their own self-care, accepting responsibility for their actions and working towards wellness and compliance with healthy lifestyles.

All nurses in general try to help educate patients to become self-sufficient. But patient education is even more important for home health nurses since they have the opportunity to spend time one-on-one with patients and their families to provide the teaching necessary.

Next: Working Dynamics of Home Health Care >>

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