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Through this experience, I realized how much the role of a nurse in a home health care setting differs vastly

from that of nurses that work in hospitals. Home Health nurses visit patients that require home health care within a day or two of hospital discharge, do a physical assessment, check that the patient understand the medications, and do any teaching necessary. A care plan is created to address any issues needed on the next visits. On each subsequent visit, an assessment is done and progress is checked especially with the medication regimen. Most patients are compliant and can be discharged after a few visits when the nurse establishes that the patient can do well on their own. During this experience, the nurse made appointments for some of the patients we visited and also drew blood for a PT/INR test for one of them. We then went to the diagnostic lab to drop of the blood sample. Home Health Nurses also have to love animals because some patients have pets and since care is provided in the home, then nurses have to like animals too. I am not really an animal person and I was somewhat uncomfortable in the houses that had dogs and cats. We also had a patient call us ahead telling us to take off our shoes before coming inside her home which we did. Home Health nurses have to be able to adapt to various living conditions, some houses we visited were very filthy and others were super-clean. Home Health nurses also have to be comfortable with having family members around because its their home too. We had family members asking questions about what we were doing to the patient. We also had to teach some of the family members dressing changes so they can help change the dressing before the next time the nurse visits. Finally, a Home Health nurse has to be experienced and independent because there are no other nurses or nursing assistants to help in the home. I had to help the nurse when she was changing the dressing for one of our bed-ridden patients. She would have had to do it all by herself if I was not there. Overall it was an eye-opening and very different experience for me.