There are different types of care that can be delivered in the home. What care is available will depend on which state the person receiving the care lives in what the regulations allow from different providers.
Typically, home care services do not include any medical care and even if there is a nurse as part of the available services, this person may refer a client to other healthcare partners for appropriate care.
In Home Nursing Services
Many caregivers are CNAs, which is a Certified Nursing Assistant, and requires additional training. A CNA is qualified to help someone with their activities of daily living such as assistance bathing and grooming, medication reminders, meal preparation, and more.
A certified nursing assistant may be studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) or work alongside these other nurses. Many caregivers are interested in pursuing these other healthcare careers while they gain experience with clients.
Unlike LPNs or RNs, a CNA does not need a license and state-mandated exam to provide care. There are in-person and online state-approved training programs for becoming a CNA, including one with the Red Cross.
Where in home nursing services are required by state regulations or simply allowed to be offered in conjunction with traditional home care, a nurse might be able to offer advanced care coordination and oversight of short or long-term care plans for a client.
What a Nurse Does Not Do
A nurse working with a home care agency is not able to do physical therapy or occupational therapy, but he or she can help with scheduling these other services or make referrals for these types of needs.
Home care nurses do not make meals, but they can provide nutritional advice, help plan a healthy meals menu, oversee sticking to a specialty diet, and work with the caregiving team to provides tips on meal preparation.
A nurse can help with picking up medications, setting reminders, track any possible side effects from medicines and communicate these to a healthcare provider, and even re-order medications. However, a nurse with a home care agency cannot necessarily administer the medications and this may require a healthcare setting.
Learn more about nursing services.