Homecare and Hospice Positions
Home care affords an opportunity to practice healthcare in a community setting where autonomy and coordination of care are the focal points. Keeping patients safe at home, avoiding hospitalizations, and helping them return to an optimal level of functioning is at the heart of home healthcare nursing.
Why is Homecare Important?
Most of us take our ability to manage the activities of daily living for granted. But for aging adults or people with disabilities or injuries, daily tasks such as grooming, bathing, toileting, eating, and mobility may pose special challenges. When competent, reliable family caregiving is unavailable, families must often face the unhappy prospect of institutionalizing loved ones who require support or complex medical care, or who are no longer able to care safely for themselves. Home health care providers change lives by helping their clients to remain safe and comfortable in their own homes and communities.
Why Work In Home Care?
A job in home health care affords you the opportunity to do meaningful work every day. Home health professionals build personal relationships with their clients, and the day-to-day support they provide can drastically improve a person’s quality of life. Because of this, the majority of nurses and aides working in home health care report a deep sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
The Role Of A Hospice RN
Your primary role is to provide end-of-life care for your patients and to make them as comfortable as possible. This includes managing pain and other symptoms as well as providing any other support to make the process of death dignified and respectful. There is also a duty of care to the family and loved ones of the person you are responsible for. A hospice RN should ensure that they have no questions or concerns, so they can focus their energy on spending time with the person they love.
- Conduct and document comprehensive nursing assessments.
- Determine program eligibility and needed services, and verify payer sources.
- Review medications and maintain lists of current medications.
- Reconcile the Home Health medication list with medication lists from other providers.
- Develop and implement an individualized teaching plan for the patient and family/caregiver, with a goal of assisting the patient in reaching the highest possible level of independence.
- Demonstrate knowledge of a commitment to the hospice philosophy of care.
- Demonstrate an ability to work on an interdisciplinary team.
- Consult with the attending physician and interdisciplinary team to establish plans of care.
- Demonstrate a willingness to work with patients/families regardless of race, color, creed, age or sexual orientation. Must show respect their beliefs and philosophy with an attitude of openness and receptiveness.
Dealing with Loss
Being a hospice nurse takes a special kind of person. It is more than just a job, it is a true passion and some would even say that it is a calling. The job is challenging in its nature, and proving end-of-life care to people that are dying can be difficult to manage.
Often, there will be a strong sense of attachment to patients and the loss of that person can be very painful. Many hospice RNs deal with their emotions by focusing on how they made a meaningful difference to their patient’s life. After all, that is what nursing is really about.
Most home healthcare agencies require nurses to have a BSN and at least 2 years of experience as an RN in a medical-surgical setting. Nurses who’ve worked in medical-surgical or critical care areas generally succeed in home healthcare settings due to their broad range of assessment skills.
Although no specific certification is available for home healthcare nursing, some nurses choose to maintain certification in medical-surgical nursing. Most patients in home healthcare settings are older than 65 and have multiple medical diagnoses and chronic health issues. Some of the more common issues include heart failure and other cardiac problems, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, and osteoarthritis.
As a result, it is important to have experience in these areas. Other general skills include dressing, bathing, toileting hygiene, feeding or eating, transferring, ambulation, and grooming.
- Compared to the same period in 2017, the number of hospice patient admissions increased by 3.9% in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Excel Health data. Admissions levels for home health patients, in comparison, grew by 1.8%.
- The number of new job openings for home health aides by 2025 is expected to reach 423,200, which is a growth rate of 32%. The expected workforce gap will hit -446,300 workers by 2025, according to the report from Mercer, a human resources consulting firm