Home care nurses are a vital part of the disability support system. They provide much-needed emotional, psychological, and medical care to those who need it. They go beyond traditional healthcare boundaries to bring about significant positive changes in the lives of disabled people.
And this is not any small group; many Americans suffer from this problem. According to the Pew Research Center, around 42.5 million Americans have disabilities. This group comprises people with hearing issues, vision defects, cognitive defects, walking issues, self-care, or independent living difficulties.
This article delves into the transformative impact of home care nurses on disability support. It will emphasize their role in fostering independence, enhancing quality of life, and promoting a holistic approach to healthcare.
The Role of Home Care Nurses in Disability Support
Home care nurses are in a unique position to help people with disabilities. They’re trained to provide medical support. But they also have the opportunity to build relationships with their patients and their families. These relationships can be crucial for supporting people with disabilities and helping them feel safe, cared for, and understood.
Apart from the above duties, a home health nurse provides medical-surgical, mental, gerontology, pediatrics, and public health support. Registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and nurse assistants can work as home care nurses.
However, not all nurses will have the skills to offer the proper care for your needs. Hence, it is vital to select a skilled professional. You can check the educational background of potential nurses you want to hire. You would like to focus extra on how well he or she has performed in nursing school clinicals.
According to Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, nursing clinicals are a requisite for aspiring nurses. This is when the students collaborate with a preceptor or clinical instructor. Thus, it gives them practical knowledge of how things go in the real world. This presents them with an excellent opportunity to put their knowledge to work.
If you find someone who has excelled in nursing school clinicals, it shows that he or she has the right practical skills. Hence, you can hire him or her for your or your loved ones’ care.
Enhancing Independence Through Skillful Assistance
Nurses are trained to provide skilled assistance. They can help with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and eating. Nurses are also trained in more complex skills, such as toileting and transfers from bed to chair or wheelchair.
Here are some ways in which nurses can contribute to enhancing independence for people with disabilities:
- Assessment and care planning: They conduct comprehensive assessments to understand each individual’s unique needs and challenges.
- Training and education: They educate individuals and their families on managing their conditions and disabilities. They can also provide training on assistive devices, adaptive technologies, and techniques to enhance independence.
- Mobility support: They can assist with mobility exercises and rehabilitation programs to improve strength and coordination. Evaluate and recommend appropriate mobility aids like wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers.
- Medication management: Nurses can ensure that individuals understand and manage their medications independently. Develop strategies to help with medication adherence, such as pill organizers or reminders.
- Adaptive equipment and technology: They can introduce and train you on using adaptive and assistive technologies that promote independence.
- Promoting self-care: Nurses encourage and support individuals in performing activities of daily living (ADLs) independently. They teach adaptive techniques to make self-care tasks more manageable.
- Psychosocial support: Provide emotional support and counseling to address the psychological challenges of disabilities.
- Advocacy: They advocate for your needs and rights within healthcare settings and the broader community. Work to eliminate barriers to accessibility and inclusion.
- Collaboration with other professionals: They can collaborate with physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and other professionals to create a multidisciplinary approach to care.
Emotional and Psychological Support
Emotional and psychological support is a key component of home care nursing. For people with disabilities, emotional and psychological support can be just as important as physical care. Home care nurses provide this type of care by:
- Listening to their client’s concerns
- Providing counseling services when needed
- Helping them cope with stressors from their environment or personal relationships
- Supporting them through difficult times
Home care nurses also help people with disabilities develop coping skills to live independently without feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges. Moreover, they can also help with activities that may increase stress levels.
For instance, they may teach patients how to manage their medications for both physical and mental health. They can also assist patients in developing healthy sleeping habits if they have trouble sleeping at night. This can be beneficial as a lack of sound sleep can lead to mental health problems.
To ensure the best possible outcomes for you, it’s important that your nurse can administer medication correctly. Studies have revealed that many people seeking home care face medication error problems.
One such study was published in the British Pharmacological Society Journal. The study was conducted on 485 nurses. The conclusion revealed that around 41.6% of the nurses reported a medication error within the past 12 months. The study also concluded that 30% of home care patients face a possibility of medication error.
Providing Education and Support
Home care nurses educate and support the patient, family, and other caregivers. This can be done through one-on-one conversations, group sessions, or online resources. Education is important for your recovery as it helps you understand your condition better. This can enable you to take control of your health and cope with changes in your life.
Home health aides are also trained to use equipment such as oxygen tanks or feeding tubes. This allows them to assist you with daily activities such as bathing or dressing.
The Future of Home Care Nursing in Disability Support
Home care nursing is a growing field, with an expected increase of 10 percent over the next five years. According to BLS, the home care and personal care aid sector generated an estimated 3,715,500 jobs in 2022. Around 684,600 openings for home health and personal care aids are projected annually.
Hence, the future of home care nursing in disability support is bright. It has the potential to help people with disabilities live more independent lives and even longer ones.
With the rise of home care nurses, we witness a paradigm shift in how disability support is delivered. These skilled professionals are helping people with disabilities live more independently while providing emotional and psychological support. This transformative impact on people’s lives is something that all healthcare providers should strive for.