An in-home nurse is a healthcare professional who takes care of the patient’s healthcare needs who are physically incapable of going to the hospital. These healthcare professionals have a medical background and have undergone a rigorous training and education regime in nursing school. They provide one-to-one care to the terminally ill, disabled, and elderly individuals. Some might also provide new mothers or pregnant women with support, education, or ongoing care. An in-home nurse’s duties include dressing, bathing, IV therapy, drug administration, wound care, and much more.
One might say that a patient receives the best treatment inside a medical facility; therefore, they should go to a hospital instead of receiving treatment at home. But, not every patient can go to the hospital, specially when that patient is severely ill. In such a case, the patients usually receive treatment through a home healthcare service or an in-home nurse. Other than that, the patient’s families are more involved in the treatment process when he or she receives treatment at home.
That said, hiring an in-home nurse for yourself or your terminally ill or aging loved ones is an extremely important decision. Some doubts will always arise in your mind when you hear the words’ in-home nurse.’ However, it is not entirely your fault as most of us haven’t hired home healthcare services before. To help you decide whether or not you should hire an in-home, we’ve shared a list of questions you need to ask before signing the dotted line.
- What Is Your Specialty?
In-home nurses have a wide variety of skills. So, it would be best if you asked about them in the initial interview. A well-trained and educated in-home nurse will know how to handle a patient’s specific healthcare needs and requirements. What guarantees their skill is their education; if they have taken any of the online DNP programs or in-person, they probably have the training you are looking for. So, if your ill loved one has problems maintaining their balance, ask the in-home nurse about their ability and specialty.
- Why Did You Become A Professional Care Provider?
You need to hire someone who is going to answer these questions seriously. In addition, you will need an in-home nurse who will pay attention to every little detail and ensure that the patient’s healthcare needs are met. Asking why the in-home nurse took the care provider’s path is an opportunity to know what motivates him or her. Look for signs of interest and sincerity in the answer. But, remember, the in-home nurse’s agency might have already had this conversion with them. If you’re satisfied with their answer, you can move on to the next question.
- How Often Will You Evaluate The Patient And Update Their Care Plan?
It is a critical question because it says a lot about the in-home nurse you’re looking to hire. A care plan will be subject to change, depending on the patient’s healthcare needs.
It is a living and breathing document that requires updates when necessary. Therefore, a care plan needs to be flexible and designed to fulfill the patient’s healthcare needs at a particular point in time. Ensure that the in-home nurse you’re looking to hire agrees with this and interview those who constantly update and evaluate their care plans whenever necessary.
- What Are Your Policies For Communicating With A Patient And Their Family?
Usually, a patient’s family will hire an in-home nurse while being situated in another state or city. It is because taking care of long-distance relatives is common these days. And such a thing makes communication a vital part of the caregiving process. So, ask the potential hiree how they plan on keeping a patient’s family members and relatives informed. Again, accessibility is extremely critical here. So, ensure that the in-home nurse you wish to hire agrees on keeping an open line of communication and remain available when required.
- What Are Your Hobbies?
The lack of hobbies shouldn’t matter too much. However, who knows, it might be an excellent opportunity to delight and surprise the patient. For example, the patient loved playing piano and cannot play it anymore due to a physical disability such as an amputated hand or a disease like arthritis. So, imagine the patient’s delight and look of surprise when the in-home nurse you hire can sit with them and play the piano. Instead of thinking this question might be a waste of time, think of it as another opportunity to find a personality match with the patient.
- Are You The Silent Or Talkative Type?
You know your aging loved ones better than anyone else in this world. Are they an introvert or an extrovert? Extroverts might prefer an in-home nurse who likes to initiate a casual conversation while indulging the patient with their cherished memories. On the other hand, if the patient is an introvert, they might get tired quickly and prefer an in-home nurse who only speaks when spoken to. That said, things are not so black and white. Tons of in-home nurses can adapt and play both an introvert’s and an extrovert’s role, depending on the situation and patient.
- Do I Pay You Or Your Agency?
No, you don’t have to pay your in-home nurse directly. Also, you don’t need to tip them as well; instead, you’ll pay your in-home nurse’s agency directly. Most in-home nursing agencies require a monthly payment and have various payment methods such as via debit card, credit card, cash, or wire transfer. Also, an in-home nurse’s hourly rates depend on the location, situation, and the services they provide. If you go for full-service, expect to pay more than the average hourly rate.
The bottom line is that an in-home patient requires a nurturing, caring, and social individual dedicated to providing the best possible healthcare services possible. Of course, getting in touch with a reputable home health agency can reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person. Consider asking the questions mentioned above in your next interview to ensure you find the best match possible for your terminally ill or aging loved ones.