Growing Opportunities for Nurses in Home Health Care

Home health care is one of the fastest growing areas in health care today. For nurses, providing care for patients in their own homes is the place to be in the next decade. This includes private duty shift work in homes, as well as intermittent home health and hospice care.

Sometimes patients are too sick to care for themselves in their own home and require private duty shift care, or intermittent visits from nurses or therapists (or some combination of both). They need to be taught about new medications, dietary restrictions, and home safety tips. Patients may have wounds, unhealed incisions, or immobilization devices such as splints or casts. They may have IV antibiotics or have ongoing chemotherapy treatments. Some may have tubes such as G-tubes, pleural drainage, wound or incision drains and dressings, Foley catheters, or are dependent on machines such as suction or ventilators. All of this requires specialized care that only a trained professional can provide.

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