If you’ve been considering leaving the acute care setting and stepping into the world of home health care, today’s healthcare environment offers unique opportunities. As the number of seniors in the U.S. continues to grow, the need for home health care workers is skyrocketing. As people age, they often wish to stay home in a comfortable and familiar environment, near friends and family. In one survey, seniors expressed greater concerns over being admitted to a nursing home than dying.
Opportunities within the home healthcare industry are wide ranging, from highly skilled nurses and therapists to personal care aides with on-the-job training. 2015 was the first year more money was spent on home care than on nursing home care. Every day, almost 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65, and a majority of those are hoping to age in their own home.
This phenomenal number has created a demand for home health care workers in a market that is growing at breakneck speed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the 10 years before 2016, 2.8 million jobs were added in the healthcare sector. This represents a growth rate seven times faster than the remaining economy. Home healthcare agencies are seeking qualified and talented recruits to meet the needs of a growing customer base.
Before joining home health care as a nurse, most agencies require two years of experience in a medical-surgical setting, since home healthcare nurses practice relatively independently and require this experience on which to draw. While no specific certifications are required for RNs to practice at home, many choose to maintain a certification in medical-surgical nursing as it makes them more attractive to agencies and prospective patients.
Does Home Care Suit You?
Nurses who are best suited for home health care are those who are organized with good time-management skills and can function independently outside of a hospital setting. Home health care nurses must be able to make decisions on the spot about a patient’s status and determine the need for immediate medical care. Additionally, great home health care nurses are good listeners and effective teachers, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Since the goal of home health care is to keep the patient at home or in the community, a home health care nurse must be skilled at detecting early signs of decompensation and be able to act quickly to keep their patient stable. Managing medications and prescriptions, understanding side effects and dosages and performing physical assessments are all part of the daily activities of a home health care nurse.
A flexible schedule, the ability to get to know and interact with patients and families, and building your skill set are all reasons to choose a career in home health care.
Ready for a Career in Home Care?
At Anodyne, it is our mission to further the career goals of our professional nurses. Contact us today and let our expert recruiters help design a career path in home health care that offers you flexibility, satisfaction and the chance to practice in an independent environment.