Home health nursing is the most common home health service doctors order for their patients. Skilled nursing can include care for both elderly patients and younger patients. In-home nursing care can help you recover from an illness, surgery or injury. Amedisys home health care nurses can also help you manage a chronic illness such as COPD, diabetes or heart failure. They bring the same caring, compassionate presence as a hospital nurse, but in the home setting.
WHAT IS A HOME HEALTH NURSE?
In-home nurses are licensed medical professionals who provide in-home health services. They are typically registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who provide intermittent skilled nursing at home.
If you’re in need of in-home medical care and meet the other home health eligibility requirements, skilled nursing home care may be a good option for you.
WHERE DO HOME HEALTH NURSES WORK?
Home nurses typically work in patients’ homes. They may also provide home health care in senior living communities or group homes. Many are employed by home health agencies like Amedisys, which assign them to a certain number of patients. Then in-home nurses drive to their patients’ homes to provide the types of care prescribed by the patients’ physicians.
WHAT DOES A HOME HEALTH NURSE DO?
Home health nurses most commonly care for seniors eligible for home health care. They are also skilled in treating people who have a chronic illness, medical condition or cognitive impairment. You may receive intermittent home nursing services to help you recover, based on your needs and doctor’s orders.
So, what is home health nursing? At Amedisys, it includes a wide range of in-home nursing services, from basic medical home health care to more complex treatment. Depending on your needs and physician’s orders, your home health skilled nursing services may include:
- Working with your doctor to create a plan of care tailored to your needs
- Educating you and your family caregiver about your condition, needs and care
- Providing dietary education
- Performing head-to-toe physical assessments
- Checking vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure
- Helping you manage your medications
- Setting up a schedule and system for taking medications correctly
- Evaluating how your medications are working
- Educating you and your caregiver about each medication’s purpose, dosage and side effects
- Giving injections, in-home IV therapy or tube feedings
- Managing a chest tube
- Administering and maintaining catheters
- Preventing infections
- Providing ostomy and wound care such as dressing changes and care for complex, non-healing wounds
- Providing rehabilitation services after surgery or an injury like a burn or stroke
- Monitoring your progress and response to treatment
- Listening to family caregiver concerns and answering questions
- Updating your doctor and family caregiver about your progress and needs
Some Amedisys home health agencies also have behavioral health nurses on staff. These specialized nurses provide monitoring and support for behavioral health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Home health nurses provide skilled, in-home medical care. If you need help with non-skilled care such as bathing and getting dressed, your doctor may order home health aide services. If you need additional support, such as help with cooking, cleaning or other tasks, consider personal care. Some people receive both home health care and personal care at the same time.
Learn more about the differences between home health care and home care.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM A HOME HEALTH NURSE VISIT
Home health care nurses provide a variety of home medical services. At Amedisys, home care nursing services typically start with an assessment of your condition. At the first home health nurse visit, Amedisys patients receive information about their health condition and how home health care works.
You’ll also receive guidance on when to call your home health team and when to call for emergency help. Your nurse will explain who is on your home health team and how often each person will visit you. Initial visits typically last from one to three hours.
At your initial home health nurse visit, you can expect questions like:
- What medications are you taking and how do you keep track of them?
- Do you have a support system at home? How do you get to the grocery store and appointments?
- What types of foods do you eat?
- What kind of symptoms are you having?
- What do you hope home health care can help you do?
Your Amedisys nurse will go over your medications to make sure you understand what you’re taking and have a system for taking them correctly. They’ll also take your vital signs. Depending on your condition and doctor’s orders, this may include checking your blood pressure, pulse, respirations, lung sounds and other signs. They’ll also ask questions about how you’re feeling, such as:
- Are you having any pain?
- How is your appetite?
- Are you sleeping well?
- Have you had any recent falls? If so, what happened? Were you injured?
Your in-home nurse will follow up with your doctor and other healthcare providers to explain your progress and any changing needs.
How often will the Amedisys home health nurse visit you? It depends on your needs and doctor’s orders. For example, one patient may have a home health care nurse visit twice a week for the first week or two, and then once a week thereafter if their condition is stable.
Our home health nurses quickly build rapport with you and your family. They do this by getting to know you and keeping open lines of communication. It is often these bonds with patients – and the ability to make a difference in their lives – that give in-home nurses a passion for home health nursing.
HOME HEALTH NURSING CARE COST
Is in-home nursing care covered by Medicare or Medicaid? Does Medicare cover skilled nursing at home?
If you qualify for home health, home nursing services are typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans. This makes in home nursing care for the elderly cost-effective and is the most common way people pay for home nursing care. If you need additional services, your doctor may also order other home health care services such as a home health aide, social work services, and/or occupational, speech and physical therapy.
Learn more about in-home nursing care costs and how to pay for home health care.
BENEFITS OF HOME HEALTH CARE NURSING
All Amedisys nurses work to bring heart and healing to their patients. Home health nurses do this in a setting with the highest level of care and comfort: your home. Here are some of the other benefits of home health care nursing with Amedisys:
A Team Dedicated to You
When your home health nurse visits, they are focused on you and your caregiver. You get regular visits without having to leave your home.
Since your team is in your home, they get know you in a familiar environment. Seeing the ins and outs of your daily life, they may spot other needs that might’ve gone unnoticed otherwise. For example, your home health nurse might notice you don’t have groceries and recommend social work services to help you find resources. Or they may notice safety issues that could be addressed by an occupational therapist or physical therapist. They can share this information with your doctor, then your doctor decides if you need these services.
24/7 Help for Urgent Needs
A registered nurse is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you have an urgent need.
Smooth Coordination With Your Doctor
Your home nurse will communicate with your doctor. They know the questions to ask and information to provide to help you get the care you need.
Specialized Education and Training
Your Amedisys home nurse is an educated and licensed professional. Our home health nurses receive ongoing training to maintain their license and develop their skills. Home health care is skilled care. This means the home healthcare nurse visiting you has special knowledge and training to help you stay as safe and healthy as possible in your home.
A Caring Advocate
Your in-home nurse provides a listening ear and someone to talk to about how you’re feeling. Our home health nurses are known for their compassion, patience and flexibility. They make a difference because they truly care about their patients. By putting your needs first, home health skilled nursing services offer a sense of hope and safety.
Your home healthcare nurse will regularly check on how you’re feeling, how your medications are working and other measures of your health. With frequent check-ins and home health monitoring services from skilled nursing, many patients feel better and can get back to the things they enjoy. Amedisys home health nursing can help you:
- Recover from illness, surgery or injury
- Manage a chronic illness so it’s easier for you to do daily activities
- Prevent disability or a worsening of your condition
- Identify a change in health or worsening symptoms so they can be addressed promptly
Improved Quality of Life
Skilled nursing home care can improve your quality of life by helping to:
- Keep you safe in the comfort of home
- Avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital
- Prevent or delay the need for a nursing home
IS HOME CARE NURSING RIGHT FOR ME?
Most people want to stay in their own home as long as possible. When trying to decide if home care nursing is right for you, the main consideration is typically “Do I qualify for home health care?” To get skilled nursing home care covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, you’ll need to meet all of these requirements:
- Be “homebound” (unable to leave home without help)
- Require intermittent/part-time skilled nursing care, speech therapy or physical therapy or ongoing occupational therapy
- Be under the care of a doctor who orders home health for you
- Receive care from a Medicare-certified home health agency
If you meet the eligibility requirements and your doctor orders home care nursing for you, services are typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans.
HOW TO HIRE A NURSE FOR HOME CARE
Are you looking for in-home nursing care for an elderly loved one or for yourself? Amedisys home health agencies have skilled nurses on staff. If you meet the eligibility requirements and your doctor orders in-home nursing services for you, call one of our home nursing providers near you to get started.
You can look up the home care nursing agency’s quality scores on Medicare’s At Amedisys, we’ll partner you with a home healthcare nurse who is a good match for your needs.
If you want to hire a nurse for home care, talk to your doctor, hospital social worker or discharge planner, or other healthcare provider.