A Selection from
Community Health Experience
by Jennifer Johnson
Nursing Student
Pennsylvania College of Technology

     Focusing on the home health nurse, I can truly say there is a distinguishable and notable difference between her/his daily regimen and that of a nurse in a hospital or long-term care facility. One of the most distinguishable differences is the nurse-patient relationship that is formed. There seems to be a better or closer relationship between the home health nurse and their patients. There are several factors that strengthen or add to this relationship, one being that the patient is in their own home thereby feeling more comfortable, and they have much more input in their own care. Another factor is communication -- the home health nurse utilizes much more therapeutic communication, and not only does she/he talk but they also listen very attentively. The home health care nurse also forms a closer relationship with her/his patientís family than what is seen in other care facilities, because in numerous cases a family member also becomes a primary caregiver. The home health nurse knows that after she leaves her patientís home, the patient and family are on their own, so the safety and well-being of the patient is very important. The home nurse does her/his best to make sure their patients continue to progress when they are not with their patients.
     The home health nurse also exhibits organization. In the other environments nurses can rely on others to make phone calls, hand them a specific document, collect a specimen etc. All the needed papers for accurate documentation, and the needed equipment for proper treatment, must be carried in by the home health nurse as she goes into her patientís home. Having to run back and forth to her/his car can be very costly, lengthy, and hazardous. The home health nurse has to rely solely on self: there is no teamwork seen here; therefore, this nurse must be proficient in a broad range of care.