At its most basic level, home nursing is exactly what the name suggests: “It’s caring for someone at home,” said Joe Pecora Jr., vice president of Home Healthcare Workers of America, a national union that represents home care workers.

The type of grooming varies. Depending on a person’s needs, home health care may consist of medical care such as wound care and / or non-medical care such as help with bathing or meal preparation.

Different types of home health care

There are two main types of home health care:

Medical supplies
This type of home health care – often referred to as skilled care – is provided by a healthcare professional such as a doctor, licensed nurse, or physical therapist. Some of the services they could offer include wound care, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, says Yount. Other potential services include patient and caregiver education, injections, and nutritional therapy. Medical home nursing is prescribed by a doctor.

Non-medical care
Non-medical care includes “helping with everyday activities – things like bathing, getting dressed, preparing food, transporting to and from doctor’s appointments, running errands, shopping and household chores,” says Yount. It is provided by home health or home care workers.

What To Expect From Home Nursing

When a new patient signs up for home nursing with BrightStar Care, a national home care provider, a registered nurse meets with the family at home to understand their goals and exactly the services they need. The nurse then creates a detailed personalized care plan, says Shelly Sun, CEO and founder of the company. This meeting will help BrightStar Care “match a caregiver with the right skills, the right personality, and the right schedule with the person we will be taking care of at home,” says Sun. She stresses that anyone who signs up for quality home health care should expect a similar process.

Once home nursing begins, the patient and the care provider work together to determine the appropriate days and times for visits. “It varies a lot – from one hour to 24-hour care,” says Pecora.

In addition to the practical care of a patient, the home health service providers act as a “liaison point” and support communication between the patient and his or her health team. “They are the eyes and ears for the family doctor,” says Yount. “The doctor only sees her intermittently, so sometimes [the home health aide] can avoid major medical problems by seeing signs and symptoms sooner. “