The people on your loved one’s care team can make all the difference. When that team includes a registered nurse, you’ll receive additional care, support, and resources that go beyond your loved one’s day-to-day medical needs.
Every person and family we work with has a registered nurse who leads their care team. This is not true with many private duty home care agencies that do not have a nurse on their team. We want you to feel confident in the care your loved one receives, the environment in which they live, and the decisions you make. Nursing has been ranked the most trusted profession in the country for 15 consecutive years, according to the annual Gallup honesty/ethics poll. Nurses instill confidence and exude compassion, and that is exactly what our more than 5,000 nurses strive to do.
Before you choose a home care partner, take a moment to learn about the benefits a registered nurse can bring to the team. We’ve listed below the five benefits our clients say they appreciate most. Use the list as you consider whether your loved one could benefit from in-home care led by a registered nurse.
To learn how a BrightStar Care nurse-led team can help you and your loved one, call (866) 618-7827 or contact a BrightStar Care® home care agency near you.
Benefits of having a nurse involved in home care
While nurses partner with you on your loved one’s care, they also can serve as consultants. Their background and training means they can provide services, resources, and education that keep you confident your loved one is safe and in the right hands.
1. Answer questions about medical conditions and treatment
There’s a lot to take in when dealing with a medical condition. Sometimes you forget to ask a question when you’re at the doctor’s office, or you don’t think of it until you return home, or you just don’t know what to ask. Your dedicated BrightStar Care nurse often can answer questions as they pop up. They’ll take time to explain the details of your loved one’s condition and treatment.
2. Provide skilled medical services
Your loved one may have specialized needs that require skills beyond that of a general caregiver. For example, if your mom needs injections for a condition, or your dad needs care related to an ostomy – a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes – in most states, a BrightStar Care nurse can assist with these types of services. If you don’t have a nurse on your home care team, you will need to find another provider to perform these specific tasks.
3. Help modify your loved one’s home to make it safer
There are safety practices that should be used in every home, such as installing smoke detectors, but some medical conditions may require additional steps to keep a loved one safe. Our nurses follow the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals, which address safety issues in a variety of health care settings.
During the initial assessment for every client, a BrightStar Care nurse will evaluate your loved one’s home and make suggestions for how to make it safer and decrease the risk of falls. Recommended modifications may include:
- Better lighting
- Improved medication storage
- Specialized furniture or home accessories such as handrails or eliminating throw rugs
4. Recognize medication side effects
Every medication comes with the risk of potential side effects. Some of these side effects may be very subtle, or even mimic other conditions. For example, some drugs can cause confusion or forgetfulness, which may be blamed on existing or emerging dementia. Nurses often can recognize when certain symptoms may be attributed to a medication and not a medical condition, and recommend discussing the situation with the prescribing doctor. Our nurses are in close communication with our caregivers so they know when a change in condition may require additional help.
5. Provide assistance in coordinating medical services
Families often find themselves in a quandary about what to do, where to go, and which community resources are available. Nurses tend to be well-versed in these areas and able to recommend specific specialists, clinics, and support groups that address the needs of you and your loved one. In addition, if your doctor prescribes a certain treatment, your nurse can ensure that all caregivers on the team are on the same page and working together to reach the goal.
Why nurses lead our home care teams
When BrightStar Care founder Shelly Sun sought care for a loved one, her family was unhappy with the quality of available home care services. They wanted other families to have access to better care and support. And while caregivers are fundamentally important to the home care experience, Shelly wanted to take it to a higher level and have a registered nurse oversee every person’s care.
We require our nurses to have at least three years of management experience as well as experience working with older adults. We love new nurses and what they bring to the table, but in-home care nurses must be the executive chef and the dishwasher, so to speak. There are few other nurses around to help like there is in a hospital or nursing home setting, so they need to have a great depth and breadth of experience in nursing and people skills.
We work hard to ensure every nurse has the tools to provide the best care and support for you and your loved one. This can include specialized home care training and continuing education to help them stay up-to-date on the latest best practices in the medical field.
A nurse-led home care team can go a long way in helping your loved one retain independence and live safely and comfortably in their home, as well as answer your questions and provide the support you need to care for them.