Patients want to be cared for at home because it gives them a higher level of independence and dignity compared to being in a hospital environment. Patients also prefer to be cared for at home because it provides a greater level of comfort. When patients are treated at home, the family is more involved and can spend more time with their ill relative. This would not be the case if the patient stayed in a hospital room.

But you can’t have patients being cared for at home unless you have a home health nurse. Among the different fields of nursing, the home health nurse field is one of the fastest growing ones.

Who They Treat

People who require the services of a home health nurse are those who have suffered a permanent disability or have another long term health issue. Home health nurses don’t just work with the elderly though, they can work with any age group as long as the patient requires to be treated at home for a long term illness.

What They Do

Home health nurses provide more than just treatment to their patient, they also provide emotional support and education to both the patient and their family. You see, at a hospital, the nurse is part of a larger team. But the home health nurse works with the family of the patient as a team. This is why communication and education with the family is crucial in this type of environment.

Certification

To become a home health nurse you’ll first need to be a registered nurse. After that, you can obtain certification from the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To increase their marketability, some home health nurses get multiple certifications from various agencies. Nurses can obtain certification in specific things like geriatric care or life care planning for example.

Salary

The average income of a home health nurse is $49,000 however this number can vary depending on several factors. You see, you can work with a hospital or you can work independently. As an independent home health nurse you can choose your own hours and your own fees for your services, as you will be working directly with patients with no middle-man. Some nurses also work as an RN at the hospital and do home health nursing on the side.

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