As you get older or face medical challenges, you may require additional care and support to maintain your health and well-being. It’s the care you would rather get without needing to be in and out of the hospital or other clinical settings.
In-home skilled nursing care is an increasingly common option that many people choose when recovering from an illness or managing ongoing health conditions. It allows you to receive dependable medical care in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
But how exactly do you get a nurse to come to your house? In this post, we’ll explain what you need to know about hiring an in-home nurse.
What Does a Home Health Nurse Do?
A home health nurse is a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) who provides medical assistance to a client in their home. These nurses are trained and licensed to assist with many medical treatments and interventions.
Medical duties of a home health skilled nurse may include:
- Physical assessment
- Patient education on how to administer medications and injections
- Caring for and dressing wounds
- Teaching intravenous or nutrition therapies
- Handling advanced medical interventions, e.g., trach-vent and g-tubes
- Teaching disease management
Home health nurses are different from home care aides and other types of caregivers.
Non-medical caregivers assist with personal care tasks such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation, cooking, light housekeeping, and running errands. They aren’t licensed to assist with any medical care.
Although a home health skilled nurse’s main responsibility is medical care, most will assist with some essential activities of daily living too. They may help with basic tasks such as toileting and personal hygiene during their time with a client.
When to Get an In-Home Skilled Nurse
There are various situations where it may be necessary to consider hiring an in-home skilled nurse for yourself or your loved one.
Some of the most common reasons to get a skilled nurse to come to your house include:
- Increasing Illness or Injury. If you’re experiencing a progressive or worsening illness or injury, managing your medical needs alone may become too difficult. A skilled nurse can help manage your symptoms and prevent any complications.
- Age-Related Illnesses. As you age, you become more susceptible to illnesses and conditions affecting your daily life. An in-home skilled nurse can provide specialized care and support for age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease.
- Post-Surgery Recovery. Recovering from surgery can be a challenging and stressful time for anyone. A home health skilled nurse can help ease the transition out of the hospital and back into your own home and support a smooth and successful recovery.
- Care for Chronically Ill Clients. Managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, COPD, or heart disease can feel like a full-time job. An in-home skilled nurse can work with you to create a personalized care plan that meets your unique needs.
- End-of-Life Care. Home health skilled nurses also offer hospice care for those who are terminally ill. An in-home skilled nurse can help ensure you or your loved one’s final months or weeks are as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
How to Get a Nurse to Come to Your House
A home health skilled nurse can be a great option if you or a loved one needs medical care at home. Below are the steps you need to take to get a nurse to come to your house.
Determine Your Needs
The first step in finding an in-home skilled nurse is to determine you or your loved one’s needs.
Do you require a nurse’s care, or would a home care aide better fit your needs?
If you do need medical support, what type of tasks do you need assistance with? Do you need a skilled nurse to help with medication management, wound care, or other medical needs? What illness or health conditions is it important for a skilled nurse to know about?
Make a list of care needs so you can share them with potential providers and skilled nurses.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
The next step should be talking to your healthcare provider.
Medicare or other health insurance may cover your home health care. You’ll just need a physician’s order and a face-to-face visit with your physician that justifies why you need skilled services.
Your healthcare provider can let you know what type of care you are eligible for and provide recommendations for qualified skilled nurses or reliable agencies. You may also tell your physician which provider you would like to use.
Once you know the type of care you need and what’s covered, it’s time to research your options.
Ask friends, family, and members of your community who may have used home health skilled nurses before for their recommendations. You can also look online for care providers and agencies that provide skilled nursing services.
One of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to use a home health agency with nurses on their staff or if you’d rather hire an independent nurse directly.
The benefits of working with an agency include prescreened skilled nurses, liability protection, ongoing training, and backup care in case your original nurse is unwell or unavailable last minute. Hiring a private nurse will give you more flexibility when it comes to finding the right fit and working on a schedule that fits your needs. However, medical insurance won’t cover the cost of a private nurse and you wouldn’t have the oversight that comes with a home health agency.
Either way, you should make sure that the agency or nurse is reliable, trustworthy, and has values that match your own. Make sure to check reviews from previous clients from trusted online sources.
You should also look for agencies and skilled nurses who specialize in the type of care you need and who have experience working with clients in a home setting.
When you have a list of potential agencies and/or nurses, you can arrange interviews to learn more about them.
When interviewing agencies, make sure to ask about their licensing, caregiver requirements, background checks, and how they match clients with skilled nurses.
When interviewing skilled nurses, include questions about their certifications, training, and experience working with clients with similar needs.
When hiring a nurse privately, it’s vital to ensure they have the necessary credentials and licenses to legally provide care in your state. You can check with your state’s nursing board to verify credentials yourself.
Agencies will prescreen skilled nurses to make sure they have the right credentials and licenses.
A final step is to compare pricing from different agencies or skilled nurses to find one that fits your budget (if you’re paying for all or part of the care yourself).
Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best one. You want to make sure you and your loved one are comfortable with the person and that they can provide quality care. Well-being is the most important factor.
Secure a Contract
Once you have found a skilled nurse who meets your needs and fits your budget, secure a contract.
An agency will have a pre-written contract for you. If you’re hiring independently, you’ll need to write up your own.
The contract should outline the terms of the agreement, including the type and frequency of care, payment terms, and responsibilities of both parties.
Choosing a Skilled Home Health Nurse with Providence Home Care
If you’re looking for a reliable licensed skilled nurse to provide in-home medical care for you or your loved one in the Oklahoma City area, Providence can help.
Providence Home Care is a fully-licensed Oklahoma-based home health care agency. Our team of compassionate skilled nurses and health aides can help you live as comfortably and independently as possible in your own home, even with a serious illness or injury.
Contact us today to find out more about our home health care and skilled nursing services.