When we think of a home nurse, the first thought that probably comes to mind is elderly care or caring for senior citizens. While this is the most common requirement, a home nurse can be helpful in many other cases too. Think about a high-risk pregnancy where the mother is completely bed-bound for several months. Maybe a young person has suffered a severe injury or accident and needs care and rehabilitation. Post-surgery care is quite common too, whether young or old. A home nurse can be helpful wherever there is a medical condition that needs special care, right from newborns to senior citizens.
So what does a home nurse really do? Think about all the things a patient needs in the hospital. Administration of injections and medication, charting of various parameters, reporting to the attending doctor, assistance with toileting and so much more.
A home nurse is qualified to do all that and more in the comfort of one’s home, but let’s take a closer look.
With healthcare at home, your home nurse can create an individualized plan of care based on his or her evaluation of the patient’s health, advice from the attending physician and the patient’s lifestyle. This care plan will be tailor-made to suit the patient and help them live up to their best potential.
Having a nurse at home means you will have assistance with monitoring and giving out medications, administration of injections or IVs, assistance with pain management and changing or draining of catheter or urine bag where necessary.
With healthcare at home, the patient’s wounds (where applicable) can be cleaned and dressed at home itself.
With certain conditions, family members may not be aware of certain symptoms, but a certified nurse at home will be alert and monitor all existing and new symptoms and vital signs. They will maintain a chart to see the patient’s progress.
Patient health will be closely monitored and the care plan will be updated accordingly.
Your home nurse will be able to instruct both the patient and the family on proper home care guidelines. This will help you be aware of dos, don’ts and not to worry’s!
Due to their extensive training, they may be able to provide suggestions to improve safety at home as well as facilities to enhance their mobility such as handlebars and anti-skid mats in the bathrooms, organization of furniture to accommodate a walker or wheelchair and so on.
A nurse at home will constantly be in communication with the patient’s physicians, dietician or other health advisors.
Lastly, your nurse will be able to extend encouragement and support to the patient themselves as they grapple with their condition. This is important for the overall mental wellness of the patient.
The great thing about one on one care is that a patient is able to benefit from the same quality of qualification and experience as institutionalised care, but with a personal touch and individual attention. It’s no wonder home healthcare is growing today.