Home Health Care

1264 Words May 5th, 2011 6 Pages
Home Health Care and the Value of the Registered Nurse

Home Health Care and the Value of the Registered Nurse

The home health care system is one of the fastest growing industries in America. Today, there has been a vast growth of services with approximately 7.6 million clients receiving care from about 83,000 providers (National Association for Home Care and Hospice, 2008, pg 1). This is an increase of 63,000 suppliers since 2004. Factors affecting these figures are; an aging population, rising health care costs, reimbursement plans, advances in technology, and a trend of clients desiring this avenue of care for various health related restrictions. Home health care encompasses the collaborative efforts of various professionals
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When choosing styles of leadership, Nurses regard themselves to a greater degree as patient advocates compared to methods used in the hospital, using a more democratic approach which encourages group discussion and collaborative decision-making. There are some disadvantages to home health nursing. In fact, the risk for injury to the home healthcare nurse is greater than the hazards incurred by servicing a client in a hospital. Occupational hazards such as back injuries, risk for falls from tight, cluttered home environments, transmission of pathogens, risk for domestic violence, and sharps injuries are serious concerns to this specialized field of care (Chalupka, 2008, p. 15). There may be a lack of medical equipment, for example, a patient lift, availability of clean linens, and accommodations for infection control such as running water and a clean home environment. As expected, the home health nurse must utilize strict adherence to agency protocol regarding aseptic technique in controlling the transmission of pathogens throughout the home and from one family member to the next. Driving time on the road, sometimes to unfamiliar areas, increases the nurse’s risk for automobile accidents or violence from the surrounding community. A careful plan of safety prior to visitation should be put into place in order to avoid unforeseen problems. Mapping out the next day’s route, having