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What is Home Nursing?

A home nurse may provide home care to patients who are temporarily incapacitated.
Home nurses may assist with a patient's physical therapy.
Home nursing refers to nursing care that is provided in a home environment.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Home nursing is nursing care which is provided in a home environment, rather than in a medical facility. There are many circumstances in which people require home care, ranging from people who are temporarily incapacitated to people who require long-term nursing care at home. Employment in this field is quite varied, with some nurses working through home nursing agencies, while others are freelancers, hiring themselves out as needed.

The level of care involved in home nursing is tailored to the needs of the patient. Some nurses simply visit the home one or more times a day to perform nursing tasks which cannot be done by other caregivers, or to check on the patient's well being if no other caregivers are being used. In other cases, home nursing is a live-in position, because the patient requires constant monitoring and care.

Some people choose home nursing because they are strongly opposed to staying in a hospital or similar treatment facility. If a doctor feels that the patient would do just as well or better at home, he or she will allow the patient to go home. In other instances, doctors may actively recommend home care, or family members may express a desire to take care of a patient at home. As long as a patient is stable and at low risk of complications or sudden medical emergencies, at-home nursing can be an excellent care option.

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Home nurses administer medications, assist with physical therapy, and check on surgical sites, supplementary feeding tubes, and medical devices, to make sure that everything is working smoothly. They often help with basic patient care like bathing, assistance with going to the bathroom, and so forth. Home nurses may also escort their patients on trips outside the house, ensuring that someone is available if the patient has a sudden medical need.

For someone with a network of caregivers, home nursing ensures that critical medical procedures are performed properly. Some people also prefer to use a visiting nurse for tasks which they find humiliating or uncomfortable, such as assistance with going to the bathroom. Home nurses also look out for patient welfare, using their medical training to identify cases in which a patient might be better-served by hospital care or more intensive nursing.

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calabama71
Post 3

@cmsmith10: It's hard to have to make that decision about your loved ones' care. We had to do the same thing with my mother three months ago. She suffered a stroke and couldn't care for herself anymore. We went through a private service and hired an off-duty LPN. She comes out three days a week and has been a lifesaver for us.

It's okay to have to ask for help.

cmsmith10
Post 2

@sunny27: Thanks for that informatin. We have been looking at options for my grandmother and have been reluctant to place her in a skilled nursing facility. We knew, however, that we couldn't fully care for her at home. I wasn't aware of PACE. I will certainly be checking into it.

Sunny27
Post 1

Great article- I wanted to add that Medicare and Medicaid offer an optional program called the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly otherwise known as PACE.

PACE offers coverage for homebound patients aged 55 or older, who need nursing care at home. They offer twenty-four support every day of the year.

This program offers all-inclusive benefits including providing drivers for elderly patients needing to see their doctor for medical tests.

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