Are you in need of a private nurse or home health assistant to care for a loved one? Do you know what to look for when hiring a nurse to help you in the home?
Most caregivers that have been thrown into the new role of caring for a loved one don’t have the slightest clue what to look for or questions to ask when it comes to setting up the family caregiving team. However, the real challenge is finding the right type of nurse for the care receiver’s condition.
Here are 4 basic types of nurses that generally assist in a home healthcare setting:
* Registered Nurse (RN):
A professional nurse licensed by the state Board of Nursing which has trained for 2 years or more in an accredited program.
A registered nurse can write a care plan, monitor medications, perform treatments, maintain wound care, monitor vital signs, update & educate you on the medical condition of the care receiver and much more.
Some RN’s may specialize in different areas of medicine to gain a private nursing agency greater level of experience and expertise.
Most caregivers only hire RN’s for private duty when the care receiver is very ill or has a chronic condition and the family doesn’t want them to leave the home.
Otherwise, home health agencies send RN’s to the home to assess the case and create the necessary documents to begin services.
* Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN):
A professional nurse licensed by the Board of Nursing which has completed at least 1 year in an accredited training program. A Licensed Practical Nurse performs the same duties as a registered nurse, except for writing care plans, but with less training. Most LPN’s are in training to become RN’s.
LPN’s can specialize in a particular field of medicine, but usually work them all. Many home health agencies send LPN’s to various cases because they are more readily available and need the work experience for training purposes.
Many caregivers hire LPN’s when they have medium to high levels of care for their love one.
* Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA):
Certified nurse assistants are registered with the State Board of Nursing and have completed a training course with practical lessons in nursing facilities, hospitals, private homes, retirement communities and mental health facilities.
Most caregivers hire CNA’s for private duty when the care levels are low to moderate and the care plan has already been set in place. CNA’s generally perform all the skills that are carefully recorded on the care plan issued by the RN.
Fees for CNA’s vary with experience and skill level, but are the most highly in demand nurse of them all.
* Home Health Assistant (HHA):
Home Health Assistants are non-technical workers that are trained according to the requirements of the state. They perform the basic skills of nursing (bathing, meals, shopping..etc) and gain most of their experience by working in the field.