Home Health Nurses are an extremely important part of the healthcare industry and are able to provide one on one home healthcare services for a range of patients.
A very different set up from a traditional hospital or clinic, home health nursing focuses more on individual patients, and ensuring their wellbeing is maintained.
As the home care industry continues to expand due to its convenience, cost and ageing populations, many healthcare professionals are choosing to practice inside private homes.
Known to be an emotionally rewarding job due to the one-on-one care it provides, working as a home health nurse involves a range of unique tasks and benefits for the family as well as general care, support, and organization.
What is a Home Health Nurse?
A Home Health Nurse by definition provides care for people in their own homes, instead of a medical facility.
The role can be taken on by different levels of healthcare professionals, who will be able to provide a range of care from basic to advanced.
- Nursing Assistant: Can provide a basic level of care and assist with personal care, mobility, and medication.
- Registered Nurse: Can provide home care that includes more advanced procedures for patients, for example injections, open wound care and tube feeding.
Home Health nurses are commonly hired by families across the UAE, who have noticed signs their loved one needs help at home and require either part-time or full-time care of a loved one.
They are also hired and employed by healthcare recruitment agencies, who supply clients with on demand home care services.
The Growing Importance of Home Care Nursing in the UAE
In recent years the home care industry has continued to expand across the UAE, with demand for home health nurses rising.
A valuation of the UAE home care market in 2022 estimated that the industry would see a remarkable rise in worth by 2030, and with it a spike in the need for home health nurses and other professionals.
Although having a younger population, the elderly population of the UAE is also growing, and in the coming years will need home care workers that can cope with the demand.
A more affordable and comfortable option than care homes or extended hospital stays, home care nursing allows patients to recover in their own environment, whether it be from illness, surgery, post-partum care and more.
What does a Home Health Nurse Do? - Duties and Responsibilities
A home health nurse conducts a range of tasks concerning a patient’s personal and medical care within their own home.
The exact care plan and routine will depend on the individual and their needs, however almost all home health nurses can expect to be responsible for:
- Taking vitals and assessing wellbeing
- Mobility and assisting with personal care.
- Administering medication
- Recording and logging information on patient’s wellbeing.
A home health nurse will also be likely to work either on their own or with one or two other colleagues on a rotation, depending on the patient’s condition and level of care required.
During this time, they will need to communicate with both physicians, medical professionals, and the patients themselves, as well as their family.
Some home health nurses may only visit for one or two hours during the day, whereas others could be working up to 12-hour shifts in the patient’s home.
What does a Home Health Nurse do on their visits?
When working full-time with one patient, a home health nurse can expect to have the following daily duties:
- Assess the patient and their wellbeing.
- Grooming (bathing, dressing)
- Serving meals and feeding
- Mobility (lifting the patient, helping them move arround, stand and sit)
- Administering medication
- Recording condition and following care plan set by physician.
- Providing companionship and support for the patient
How do you become a Home Health Nurse?
To become a home health nurse in Dubai, you will need to have the correct qualifications. These are:
- Nursing Assistant – Diploma or higher in Nursing and two years’ experience
- Registered Nurse – Degree (at least 3 years) from accredited institution in either nursing or midwifery / Basic Life Support / least 2 years’ experience as registered nurse.
From there, you will apply for your DHA License and receive your letter of eligibility, meaning you can legally practice in Dubai once employed.
You can then apply for jobs with healthcare recruitment agencies in Dubai, who can help you connect with individuals who need home care services or help you in securing a job position at medical facilities.
The Skills Required for Home Health Nursing
In addition to your medical skills in taking vitals, recording data, and assisting with personal care, a home health nurse needs to have a selection of other skills.
Working in a different environment to a hospital, and in a more personal and private environment, there are many social skills home care nurses must possess.
- Good communication – Working on a one-on-one basis, a home health nurse will need to communicate not only with the patient, but with their family who have prepared for home care, their doctors and others.
- Patience – Home Health Nursing requires patience, as most patients will be recovering, either from surgery, illness, or ailment, and will require time and attention in their daily activities.
- Skilled observation – Monitoring their patients often on their own, a home health nurse needs to be quick to observe any changes or a deterioration in their condition.
- Physical Strength & Stamina – With the patient likely to be less mobile, the nurse will be on their feet all day, and may be required to assist in lifting, or helping move the individual etc.
- Professionalism – A home health nurse works inside a patient’s private home, where they are often in a more vulnerable state. The worker must be professional at all times, and make the patient feel as if they are in safe and educated hands.
- Good organization – Responsible for the patient’s routine, a home health nurse must remember mealtimes, medication schedules, any appointments or other events that are essential to the individual’s wellbeing.
Pros and Cons of Home Health Nursing
- Flexibility – in some roles, you will be able to plan a daily schedule around your patient’s care, rather than a hospital rota.
- Patients – Working one on one in the home will mean you are able to develop a more personal relationship with the patient and provide a more tailored level of care that will assist their overall wellbeing.
- Skills – You will quickly gain skills in an array of tasks as the care is more individual and will be solely responsible for ensuring these are completed.
- Growing industry – The home healthcare industry is expanding quickly, with more people opting for convenient and comfortable care. As a home health nurse this provides great job security.
- Individual work – Due to the nature of care, home health nursing will mean you are often working alone. For some, they may wish to be part of a bigger team, however one-on-one care provides a much more rewarding experience for home care nurses who are able to develop a relationship with their patients.
- Increased safety risks – Unlike a hospital or clinic, a private home is more likely to pose more safety risks such as infection and trip hazards. However, a responsible home health nurse will effectively manage these risks through efficient sanitization and organization.
- Physically demanding – Like many healthcare roles, a home health nurse will find their line of work physically demanding due to being on their feet for long periods of time and assisting in lifting and moving the patient, often on their own. However, this can be easily combatted by ensuring proper rest when outside of work and lifting heavy items etc. properly.
Advancement Opportunities in Home Health Nursing
There are great opportunities for advancement in home health nursing, from improving your education to management possibilities.
While working as a home health nurse, you can improve your certifications, for example working towards becoming a registered nurse in the UAE from a nursing assistant.
You will also be able to improve your skills in the specialty of home care and be individually responsible for a patient outside of the traditional clinical environment, giving your career more experience and variety.
This employment diversity could also help you advance into other areas of the industry in the future, and over time your experience will also allow for salary increases.
The next steps
Home Health Nursing is a fantastic career for many individuals, with the industry expanding in the UAE each year.
Allowing for a more personalised and comfortable level of care, the job role allows nurses to form great bonds with their patients and contribute hugely to their overall wellbeing.
If you are looking for a job as a home health nurse in the UAE or UK, you can apply now on the Acoup recruitment drive.