Home Healthcare: What Are The Best practices?
Published on: 2017/05/01
Dr. Poonam Botadara, Physiotherapist, Mumbai, India
Home health care is a system of care provided by skilled practitioners to patients in their homes. The goals of home health care services are to help individuals to improve function and live with greater independence; to promote the client’s optimal level of well-being; and to assist the patient to remain at home, avoiding hospitalization or admission to long-term care institutions.
What is home healthcare?
Home health includes the wide range of services that can be given at home for patients’ recovering from illness or injury. It includes nursing care, physiotherapy, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapy. Licensed professionals are sent across by agencies to assess the home health needs and then a care plan is drawn out.
Home health care is usually a short-term plan to help patients who are recovering from illness or any surgery. It is generally less expensive when compared to hospital services. It is more efficient and convenient as well.
What does a home health care nurse do?
Home health nurses provide personalized care to patients in the comfort of their home. The elderly, disabled, terminally ill, recovering from injuries, accidents or people living with chronic diseases need home healthcare facilities. Some home nurses work with pregnant women or new mothers who need constant care, support and education with regard to their and the baby’s health and development.
Examples of home healthcare
Some of the home health services include caring for wounds of patients with sores or surgical wounds, educating the patient and family about the recovery, monitor nutrition, giving injections, and monitoring patients who have a serious illness or unstable health issues.
Home care facilities help the patient get better sooner and regaining their independence. They are able to be self-sufficient sooner by being able to maintain their current level of functioning and slowing down the decline of health.
The home health staff helps in monitoring what the patient eats or drinks; they check the blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing. They make sure that the patient is taking his medicines and treatments correctly. They teach the patient how to take care of themselves and communicate with the caregivers or doctors when needed.
Challenges in home health care nursing
While home healthcare has a lot of benefits for the patient, they may pose some challenges to the nurses who offer these services. Mostly the elderly or people with chronic illness require healthcare nurses. In these cases, the health status doesn’t see drastic improvements which can be discouraging to caregivers. Providing care at homes can pose security issues for nurses where the patient has some mental/ psychological illness.
In cases where the nurses and family members are not on good terms, the environment gets affected and leads to a lot of negativity which isn’t good for the patient’s health. Cultural problems may arise due to differences in the background of nurses and patients. In spite of these issues, it is found that nurses find working in a home environment less stressful than 12hr shifts at hospitals.