How Do I Become A Home Health Nurse?

As a home health nurse, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of a patient. You may treat patients with a variety of illnesses. You may be sent to a home in order to care for a woman who is recovering from chemotherapy treatments. You may serve as the sole caretaker for an elderly person who has dementia. There are a variety of ways to enter this career field and be one’s “own boss.” Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a home health nurse?” Fortunately, you do not need a college degree in order to enter this career field. This field has a great demand for compassionate people who can administer basic medical care to individuals who need it.

What’s it like to be a home health nurse?

When you become a home health nurse, you will travel to homes in order to care for patients. Patients in this type of situation usually are not able to partake in basic living functions on their own. They may need help cooking, cleaning and having their medication administered to them. A patient’s family may even want you to live in the home to provide care to the ill person. When you go to a home, you may have to dress the patient and get him or her ready for the day. You may also bathe the patient. A home health nurse can almost become like part of the family when he or she is caring for a patient. The home health nurse also helps a patient adjust to a new way of life. If a patient recently had a surgery completed, then he or she may need to relearn ways of consuming food or walking around the house. You may even have to provide assistance with physical therapy exercises for the patient.

Education Requirements

There are no formal requirements for becoming a home health nurse. If you do have a nursing degree, then this will make you a highly sought-after home health nurse. You may also find that you can bill patients for very high rates if you have a nursing degree. The majority of home health nurses do not possess a college degree. You can complete a certificate program through a local community college. These certificate programs usually teach home health nurses about different medications and how to treat patients. You may learn about the common disorders and illnesses that patients frequently have. It is also wise to take a certificate course in order to learn more about billing patients. You can learn about the proper way in which you should bill patients.

Salary & How to Get a Job

The typical salary for a home health nurse is about $20,000 to $30,000. If you want to obtain a position in this field, then you should apply for a job with a home care agency. These types of agencies will provide you with your first few patients. After you work for a few patients, you may be able to gain additional clients through referrals. You may also choose to independently market yourself. You do not have to work for a home care agency if you want to be a home health nurse. You can post an ad through Craigslist or other venues in order to gain new clients.

When you become a home health nurse, you can feel satisfied in knowing that your care is helping a patient recover from a severe illness or disorder. You can help a patient adapt to a new way of life after a tragic accident.