Registered nurses provide medical attention, support, and rehabilitative care to individuals with ongoing medical needs due to chronic illness, disability, or injury. They take a proactive approach to caregiving, assisting healing, and preventing complications to help patients remain living safely at home.
What Is a Home Health Registered Nurse?
Home health nurses care for patients in their homes. They perform a variety of tasks that patients or their families are unable to perform themselves. Home health care can necessitate skills from a range of medical specialties, including gerontology, pediatrics, mental health, and medical-surgical.
Depending on his or her individual credentials, a registered nurse’s roles and duties may include:
- Assess patient needs
- Customize a plan of care based on the patient’s unique needs
- Direct nursing care
- Direct nursing assistants and oversee their care
- Provide individualized care through collaboration with the patient, doctor, family, and additional support staff
- Case management
- Monitoring progress of healing or mobilization
- Evaluation of responses to treatment
What Does a Home Health Registered Nurse Do?
Home health nurses perform a variety of tasks, based on their individual credentials. These tasks may include:
- Administering medication
- IV therapy
- Wound care, changing dressings
- Taking vital signs
- Drawing labs
- Catheter care
- Diabetic care
- Ostomy care
- Tube feeding
- Performing physical assessments
- Assisting with mobility
- Assisting with bathing, toileting, grooming, and other activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Developing a plan of care with the doctor
- Patient education
What Types Of Nurses Are Involved With Home Health Care?
Several types of nurses may be involved in a home health care program, including:
- Registered nurses: These nurses hold a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing. They have passed the National Council Licensure Examination, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. They must also meet other necessary licensing requirements mandated by individual state nursing board mandates.
- Nursing assistants: Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) perform task-based care, excluding medication administration. They offer mobility assistance, monitor infections, clean catheters, change dressings, set up medical equipment, take vital signs, and observe and report patient changes. All medical-related tasks are performed under the direct supervision of a registered nurse.
- Licensed practical nurses: LPNs are licensed by states and meet federal standards for health and safety. They observe and manage patient care and perform tasks that home health aides and other non-medical support cannot, such as administering IV medication, injections, and tube feedings. Some LPNs specialize in speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
Does Health Insurance Cover In-Home Registered Nurse Services?
In-home nursing care can be paid through a variety of sources, including:
- Health insurance
- Medicaid (with qualifications)
- Worker’s compensation
- Veterans benefits
- Private pay (direct payment by patient receiving care)
How Are Registered Nurse Services Provided in the Home?
In-home registered nurse care must be prescribed by a doctor. Nursing care is primarily provided in shifts, up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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If you or a loved one needs medical support at home, a registered nurse can help you or your family member live comfortably, safely, and independently.