A home healthcare nurse works closely with patients within their own homes or nursing home environments. This includes bathing and feeding patients, along with providing other medical support, such as massage, medication, and wound treatment.
Home healthcare nurses work long hours and typically spend most of their time in the home of a patient. While some work during the day, others work only overnight with their patients in case there is trouble while they sleep. Other home healthcare nurses live with their patients and care for them until they are no longer needed.
Home healthcare nurses use their medical training to track their patients’ progress. They check each patient’s vital signs, such as their pulse rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen. They also carry out physician orders for lab tests by drawing blood or other biological samples. They must keep detailed records of their tasks and their patient’s health, communicating regularly with the patient and their families.
The patient’s needs drive the nurse’s specific duties. Nurses may occasionally need to make meal plans or teach caregivers how to use certain medical equipment. They must always ensure the safety of their patients and report any changes in health quickly to the supervising doctor.