Home healthcare nursing plays an important role in providing personalized medical care to patients in the comfort of their homes. In recent years, the home healthcare nursing industry has seen tremendous popularity because many Americans prefer to age or recover in the comfort of their homes. Although it is a rewarding career, it has its share of challenges. In this article, we will highlight some of the obstacles faced by healthcare nurses in a home healthcare setting. Apart from this, you will also see the benefits of home-based care.
Let’s begin with the benefits of home-based care.
What are the Benefits of Home-based Care Services?
One of the important benefits of home-based care for patients is that they can recover from an injury or an operation in the comfort of their homes. In addition to this, there are many other benefits of home healthcare nursing, which are as follows:
Offers Privacy and Independence
Home-based care offers privacy and independence. On the other hand, nursing homes and hospitals are crowded with people, therefore, depriving patients of their privacy. In a home-care setup, patients can live independently and perform their daily routines freely, like bathing, walking, preparing meals, etc.
Reduces Burden on Families
Home healthcare nurses can help with the daily tasks of the patients in addition to providing medical assistance. Some of the daily tasks they can help with include bathing, dressing, chores, etc. All these can relieve some of the stress of the family caregivers.
The major benefit of home-based care is that patients receive one-on-one care. The nurses tailor the care specific to the needs of the patient. This will make the treatment effective and helps in building trust with the patient.
Offers a Wide Range of Services
Home healthcare nursing offers a wide range of services, from skilled nursing and medication management to therapy to wound care. Patients can enjoy all these in the comfort of their homes.
Top Six Challenges Faced by Home Healthcare Nurses in Home Care Setting
Here are some of the challenges faced by home healthcare nurses in a home care setting.
Geographical and Environmental Factors
Nurses have to navigate various geographical and environmental factors. They have to deal with diverse living conditions, including poor housing facilities, limited access to resources, etc. Apart from this, when they visit a patient who lives in a remote or rural location, they face the challenges of transportation, accessibility, and communication.
Nurses, when they enter a home, can be exposed to slippery floors, pets with diseases, unstable furniture, etc. All these can put the safety of the nurses in jeopardy. In addition to this, nurses can face volatile family settings like domestic violence situations, unsafe neighborhoods, and disgruntled patients. All of these can also put the safety of nurses in jeopardy.
Nurses can get injured while they are taking care of their patients. Home healthcare nurses often have to lift their patients for bathing, changing dresses, and sheet changing by themselves. In the process, they can get injured, and this leads to severe problems, including lower back pain or even disability.
On the bright side, nurses who work for a home healthcare agency are often covered with insurance. Nurses are often covered by Workers Compensation Insurance which takes care of medical costs, lost wages, and disability support costs, to name a few.
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Inadequate Emotional and Psychological Support
Nurses see patients suffering from chronic illnesses and complex medical conditions. They also see the pain and suffering of the family and patient throughout the care. All these can create a huge impact on a nurse’s emotional and psychological well-being. Since the profession is more solitary in nature, nurses are deprived of emotional and psychological support. Providing emotional and psychological support is crucial in such situations.
Home healthcare nurses often manage the healthcare needs of multiple patients in a day. Nurses have to manage complex schedules and travel to multiple locations, and handling all these can be a challenge.
Collaboration is a big challenge in a home-based care setting. Multiple stakeholders, like healthcare providers and family members, are all involved in the patient’s care. Sometimes healthcare providers refuse to share or limit access to the patient’s health records. This can hamper the patient’s care.
To Sum Up
Home healthcare nursing is a rewarding career but is filled with many challenges, including geographical and environmental factors, workload challenges, security and safety challenges, and many more. By addressing these challenges, nurses can have thriving careers, and most importantly, they can provide optimal care to patients in the comfort of their homes.