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Home Health Journal Essay

1249 words - 5 pages

Home health care has become an increasingly acceptable and popular form of health care provided to patients for acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses. Home health continues to rise in demand for a variety of reasons. Home health is a cost effective method of providing patients with the care that they require (Phipps, Monahan, Sands, Marek, & Neighbors, 2003, p.154). Patients can receive needed care without the added cost of a hospital stay or an extended hospital stay. This helps to lower the cost for hospitals, insurance companies, public assistance, and the patient. Other added benefits to patients receiving home health care are a decrease in nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections, improved nutritional status, personalization of care, increased sense of control, encouragement of autonomy, quicker return to normal routine, increased privacy and comfort, and increased family support and involvement (Phipps et al, 2003, p154). The fore mentioned benefits help the patient to heal in their own environment at their own pace with the support of their family and friends and also includes the assistance of a skilled registered nurse to help manage their health care needs during the healing process. For this process to be successful, the home health system relies on skilled registered nurses that are not only educated in medical surgical nursing; but, who also possess excellent organizational skills, communication skills, assessment skills, creativity, flexibility, and managerial skills (Phipps et al, 2003, p.154). These skills are necessary to maximize patient potential and adapt health care practice to the needs of their patients. The nurses must also be able to use their communication and managerial skills to collaborate with other members of the patient’s health care team and properly refer the patient to other disciplines and agencies when needed (Black & Hawks, 2007, p.93). When coordinated properly, the patient and nurse can restore the patient to their optimal functioning capability.

During the home health observation day, there were several opportunities to observe a variety of patients with varying levels of functioning ability, different illnesses, and different needs and levels of interaction with the nurse. The first patient seen was a seventy-three year old Caucasian female with an ulcer on her right heel. Several weeks prior, she had scratched her left leg and she also had several small wounds on her left leg. The orders were to clean and redress the ulcer. She has a history of end stage renal disease, pneumonia, weakness, diabetes, dialysis, and right hip fracture. Upon entering the home, the patient was found to be sitting in a wheel chair in the living room watching television with her husband close by her side. She greeted the nurse with a smile and began to update her on her current condition. Her heel was “hurting” and she rated her pain an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. She also had some “swelling” that she could not “get...

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