Home healthcare is a growing industry, providing cost-effective, health care solutions for people of all ages. As the baby-boomer generation ages, the need for senior home care, skilled medical care and rehabilitation services will rise dramatically. Home healthcare workers offer personal medical assistance and hands-on, long-term health care to patients with various conditions or disabilities.
These workers, who can be home healthcare aides, home healthcare workers, home medical aides, home caregivers, nurses, nursing home personnel and home medical practitioners, are generally employed in the patients’ home and in other community-based care services like hospitals, assisted living communities, nursing homes, long term care facilities and certain disability facilities. They provide routine and essential assistance to the elderly, disabled and ill in maintaining their dignity and independence. They also play an important role in developing the patient’s ability to get along with other people, and helps them get back into a normal routine. A wide variety of services are offered by home healthcare professionals. These include things like wound care, physical therapy, medication reminders/treatments, emotional support, catheters, durable medical equipment, home nursing, hearing aids and many more.
A home healthcare professional can be a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a nurse who has graduated from an approved nursing school or a hospital professional. However, a nurse who wishes to become a home healthcare worker must first enroll in a hospital professional course. This course can be done at community colleges, via on-campus programs or through private institutions that provide hospital professional training. A number of hospitals in the US conduct courses for nurses who want to pursue a career in home health care.
The nurse who wishes to become involved in home healthcare will have to pass an exam administered by the Texas nursing board. This exam is generally available in two versions-the basic test and the advanced practice test. Once the nurse passes this exam, he or she will be given the license to work in home healthcare. The nurse will need to complete either a diploma degree program or an associate degree program in order to obtain his or her license. More colleges, nursing schools and universities are offering a variety of courses designed to prepare individuals for a career in home healthcare.
Hospitals that offer home healthcare services also offer a wide variety of social services to their patients and home healthcare workers. A number of facilities also offer patient transportation services. These services are especially useful to individuals who are handicapped or elderly. Some home healthcare workers, upon their retirement, decide to remain in-home to continue to assist patients who require ongoing assistance. Such workers help to maintain a nurse’s office, take part in a social services program and even operate a food pantry.
Another aspect of home healthcare services is patient confidentiality. Some home healthcare facilities offer in-house linen and hygiene products, while others provide private equipment for those patients who require it. In some instances, home healthcare workers are allowed to keep medical records private and maintain custody of the patients records at their own residence. As long as they inform the hospital worker if they plan to change jobs, they can work at home doing what they enjoy.
There are two types of home healthcare agencies – the ones that contract with the patient and the ones that do the actual hiring. A licensed home care agency will typically contract with a physician or nurse to assist the individual in providing home care. When the individual chooses to do the hiring themselves, they will often search for jobs at various nursing homes and hospitals. If they find jobs they like, they will make arrangements to transport the individual to the facility and to participate in their care there. Many people feel more comfortable letting a professional handle the hiring process, as they feel safer knowing that they have someone in place to look out for their best interests.
The other type of home healthcare agency is one that provides hired caregivers, referred to as personal care staff, to participate in the patient’s care. These individuals are trained to perform clerical and administrative tasks related to personal care, but not skilled nursing care. Rather, home healthcare agencies hire contracted caretakers who are supervised by and receive direction from licensed nurses or other licensed health care professionals. Home care services that focus on providing personal care to their clients have been found to have better outcomes, which may include less stress, less mental and physical illness and higher quality of life.