Are You Well-Suited to Be a Home-Care Nurse?
While many individuals with careers in nursing opt to work in hospitals and health care clinics, some prefer the one-on-one care they can provide through home health care services. Home care providers work with the elderly, people fighting diseases or those who have been injured to ensure that they are well taken care of and are receiving the medical attention that they need. But being a home-care nurse requires more than the skills you honed while earning an online nursing degree. You'll also need to possess these important characteristics:
Like working with patients in a hospital setting, caring for people in their homes requires a lot of patience and understanding. If someone requires a home-care nurse, then it is likely that they are going through a stressful and painful situation. It is important to remember at all times that you are there to provide quality care, no matter the circumstances. In situations such as these, compassion is key. Be prepared to listen and be patient when assisting them with daily tasks, as they may take quite a bit longer than normal.
In addition to providing medical care, home-care nurses may also need to help with other duties around the house, which requires being flexible. For example, you may also be preparing meals for patients or helping them get dressed in the morning. As a home-care nurse, you will not be restricted to the regimented schedule of a hospital, and may be interrupted by visitors. In addition, your patients' schedules may alter as their conditions change. For all of these reasons, it's important that home-care nurses are willing to be flexible.
Rather than following the orders of doctors and nurse managers, as a home-care nurse you report to the patient. Occasionally, patients may be reluctant to take their medications or do physical therapy when it has been scheduled, so you'll need to be able to persuade them while continuing to be respectful of their wishes and concerns. It's a fine line to walk, but forming a good relationship with each patient you care for may make it simpler.
This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_nursing