Most types of nursing involve similar responsibilities — monitoring patients’ conditions, administering medications, maintaining records, and educating patients and their families. But for home health nurses, those responsibilities are paired with a unique challenge and opportunity: visiting patients in their homes and caring for them independently.
To be a home health nurse, you’re called upon to build a relationship with your patients and serve them in a special way. What does that take? We spoke to a member of our team, Margaret H., to find out what she loves about her unique role as a home health nurse.
Beginning the Home Care Journey
“I began my nursing career later in life, after all of my children had started school. My interest in nursing began as a desire to become a midwife, which was the start of my passion for patient care. As a nursing student, I quickly realized that there were many aspects of nursing that I loved.
I was drawn to home health because I love the continuity of care that can be provided within the one-on-one relationships that are developed. I believe that continuity is a vital part of providing quality care.
It’s All About Teamwork
There are so many aspects of my job that I love. My typical work day begins with checking my schedule and arranging my day based on patient needs and locations. On an average day, I will see a mixture of patients: some who I know well, and some who are new and recently admitted to home care. As a home health nurse, I perform many aspects of care including assessment, wound care, central line care, IV teaching, and lots of educating.
I work with a great team, and I think that this has definitely contributed to my success in my role. Home health nurses have a lot of autonomy in their positions, which can be overwhelming for a new nurse. I think our team of clinicians, supervisors, and office support staff have helped me to grow well into this position. I’m grateful for that!
Why Home Health?
When someone asks me what I love about my job, the answer is always my patients. I love being able to get to know my patients and build relationships with them.
Being able to go into my patients’ homes and meet them in their environment puts people at ease, and it gives me a chance to individualize care and work with them at their level. I love teaching patients and empowering them to care for themselves.
I can honestly say that most of my experiences as a home care nurse have been positive. Most days, even when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, my patients bring me joy and I feel a sense of gratitude for them.”
Do you want to join Margaret in building relationships with patients and empowering them to care for themselves?
Learn more about a career in home health nursing at UPMC: