The job of a home care nurse comes with a lot of responsibilities and duties. You must be a registered nurse with some experience in the field, if you want to sign up with one of the reputed home care services providers in the market. And, through them, you will be assigned to a patient, for whom you have to provide medical and personal care.
Duties and responsibilities of a home care nurse
The home care services provider will assist you in understanding what all you will be required to do in the case of each patient. All this depends on the patient and the nature of his or her ailment. A chronically ill patient would require specific medical care, which you need to discuss with the doctor beforehand. If the patient were suffering from some kind of a cognitive impairment like Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, then your responsibilities would also include personal care.
This is especially true in case of elderly patients, who will require your assistance with bathing, dressing and many other household activities. Though their family members hired the home care services to take care of them, some of these patients might be embarrassed or hesitant to ask your help for when it comes to things like using the toilet. This is where communication becomes important.
You need to talk to the patient and make him understand that you are there to help him not just with the medical care, but with the personal care as well. Getting the closest family member to introduce you to the patient might be good idea. You have to be very patient when it comes to dealing with the elderly, especially those who are suffering Dementia or any mental illness.
Observing the patient’s health on a regular basis is one of the most important duties of a home care nurse. Depending on the disease the patient is suffering with, do the regular monitoring of vitals and keep an eye on reactions to different medications. If notice anything different – no matter how minor this change might be, contact the physician directly and report the problem. Also, do not hesitate to make such calls to the physician whenever you have any doubts.
In addition, keep in mind that home care services also involves some basic housekeeping as well. As mentioned earlier, you would have to help some of the patients with bathing, eating, dressing, grooming, preparing meals, laundry, etc.