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Growing Opportunities for Nurses in Home Health Care

Growing Opportunities for Nurses in Home Health Care

Kathy Quan | NursingLink

Working Dynamics of Home Health Care

Nurses must have at least one year of recent acute care experience. A registered nurse may work as the patient’s Case Manager or team leader, or just as a member of the team working part-time, per diem, without full responsibility for the patients. LPNs with acute care experience can find valuable and rewarding careers in the home health industry as well.

As a Case Manager, RNs work with the physician and patient to design the care plan and set measurable goals to be achieved in an estimated number of visits. The RN may ask for physical, occupational, or speech therapy visits to assist in the patient’s care and recovery. The Case Manager may also request a medical social worker be involved to assist the patient and his family with psychosocial issues and long and short term planning for current and future care needs.

Under the direction and supervision of the Case Manager, the LPN may visit home health patients for specific purposes such as wound care or Foley change. The LPN reports any observations, such as a wound infection, changes in status or vital signs, changes in symptoms such as pain or breathing difficulty, etc to the managing RN. The LPN may also contact the physician regarding issues for orders and report this to the RN as well.

Nursing Aides:
With additional special training, nursing aides may work under the supervision of RNs in either home health or hospice care. In private duty home care, the specialized training is not required, but highly recommended.

All patient care in home health care is directed by a physician who gives and signs orders required for reimbursement.

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