Home healthcare providers, such as All Stat Home Health, will often provide a wide variety of different services for their clients. Just as wide as the range of services offered is the range of individuals who provide them. Your home healthcare provider may be a medical professional, they may be someone who is trained to help with physical tasks, or something in between. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of home health workers today.
While fairly rare, some doctors do work as home care workers, at least to a limited degree. Usually, physicians who perform home health duties will make house calls to provide care for patients who aren't able to leave their homes. Doctors may typically do any of the following:
- Diagnose illness
- Perform medical therapies that require physician care
- Prescribe and administer medications
Typically, a doctor who makes house calls will coordinate with another home healthcare worker who sees the patient on a more regular basis to get background information on the patient. Sometimes, the doctor will give specific care instructions to the home care workers that tend to the patient daily.
Two types of nurses, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), may perform some home healthcare duties. Nurses don't typically stay with patients round the clock unless the patient is extremely ill. Instead, nurses may schedule visits to the patient's home so they can provide certain types of care that the daily caregivers are unable to perform. Some examples may include:
- Open wound care
- Health assessments that require a nurse's signature
Like doctors who stop in for home health visits, nurses may coordinate with other healthcare workers to get information on how the patient is doing day to day, and to give guidance for daily care.
Patients who are recovering from an injury and people suffering from mobility issues, may work with a Physical Therapist (PT) in their home. Usually, Physical Therapists visit their patients in home a few times a week, helping the patient to heal by strengthening their body and bettering their ability to move normally. Often, Physical Therapists teach their patients special strengthening exercises that the patient should perform daily. Physical Therapists may work together with other caregivers, especially Home Health Aides. The Physical Therapist may instruct the Home Health Aide in the best patient care techniques, including:
- Transferring a patient in and out of wheelchair safely
- Transferring a patient in and out of the bathtub safely
- Helping the patient do their exercises
Home Health Aides
Home Health Aides are one of the most common types of home health caregivers. As mentioned above, they often coordinate with Physical Therapists to learn how to better meet the physical needs of their patients. Home Health Aides will also perform duties including:
- Helping patients move safely around their home while in a wheelchair or on a walker
- Helping patients use the bathroom
- Helping with baths or showers
- Helping with getting dressed
- Helping with grooming like brushing hair
There may also be some workers who aren't trained in patient healthcare, but who are focused on providing companionship. Sometimes these workers are called healthcare workers, but they don't technically provide health services. Instead, they may do things like cooking for the patient and shopping with the patient. A companion may live with the patient full time, and will often help the other caregivers by relaying things they've observed about the patient's state of mind and health.
Each of the types of home care providers described above has something valuable to contribute to their clients. Many people will see a variety of these different home care workers in their home. All of them can work together for the patient's ultimate benefit!