"When looking to hire a nurse, it is extremely important to consider what kind of nurse you require. This answer can vary depending on your needs. For example, a hospital nurse may require a different degree than a nurse whose major responsibility is helping take care of the elderly. In order to make the right decision for your unique needs, be sure to look into the different types of nurses and their unique qualifications and roles.

The Different Nursing Professionals

There are many different nursing degrees, and each degree comes with its own requirements and obligations. The following are the three major categories of nurses.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

Registered nurses (RNs) care for injured, sick, and disabled individuals and are involved in planning, implementing, assessing, and evaluating treatments. RNs can specialize in a variety of fields and can work in many different settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, private clinics, and more.
The following is a list of the main responsibilities that RNs fulfill:
  • Coordinating with other healthcare workers to assess, plan, and implement patients’ needs
  • Recording medical information and patients’ vital signs
  • Educating and supervising patients’ families when it comes to dealing with their illnesses
  • Preparing and recording prescribed medication
  • Checking the patients’ ability to perform daily tasks
  • If they are unable to, helping patients with basic needs and daily tasks which include eating, bathing, and dressing
  • Administering prescribed medication orally, subcutaneously, or through an IV
  • Preparing certain equipment for doctors
  • Assisting doctors during examination and treatment of patients
  • Recording side effects and reporting them to the supervisor
  • Recognizing and managing different illnesses, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurological, hematological, musculoskeletal, endocrine, and other problems
  • Keeping complete records of patients’ care information

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) take care of patients who are injured, sick, or disabled. They don’t just provide direct and personalized care to their patients – they do so under the direct supervision of RNs and doctors. Simply put, LPNs are involved in planning, evaluating, and implementing the different care given to various patients.
While some LPNs do work in hospitals, a larger population of them work in settings like nursing homes, senior living facilities, assisted living centers, and home health care. They can also work in doctors’ offices, schools, rehab centers, and group homes.
The following is a list of the main responsibilities that LPNs fulfill:
  • Taking care of basic bedside needs
  • Making sure that patients are comfortable and that their surroundings are safe, orderly, and clean
  • Preparing and giving both, injections and enemas
  • Measuring vital signs such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, height, weight, and respiration
  • Recording the vital signs mentioned above
  • Inserting and monitoring catheters
  • Changing and dressing wounds
  • Collecting samples for different tests
  • Managing ventilators
  • Tracheostomy management
  • CPR
  • Recording fluid and food input and output
  • Performing laboratory tests under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians
  • Assisting patients with positioning their beds, standing, and walking
  • Preparing and recording prescribed medication
  • Administering prescribed medication orally, subcutaneously, or through an IV
  • Keeping complete records of care information
  • Helping to inform patients and their families about care
  • Reporting adverse reactions to treatments or medications to registered nurses or physicians

Home Health Aides (HHAs)

Home health aides (HHAs), also known as State Tested Nurse Aides (STNAs) are fully trained in personal care and are responsible for taking care of the elderly, the disabled, the injured, or the mentally ill. Their duties involve direct care and include everything from bathing and dressing to feeding and ambulating. They can also work in many different settings, including in hospitals, care homes, and mental health facilities.
It is important to note that HHAs aren’t nurses because they have limited medical training. However, their basic training covers the jobs that they are hired for. This does not mean that the options in this field are limited – in fact, HHAs can work in many different fields, including home health agencies, retirement homes, assisted living services, substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, disability care services, family services, and nursing homes.
The following is a list of the main responsibilities that HHAs fulfill:
  • Helping patients with eating their meals
  • Serving patients different meals
  • Ambulation
  • Observing patients’ healthcare, including physical, emotional, and mental conditions and symptoms
  • Keeping notes on these conditions and symptoms to report to nurses
  • Noting and reporting any changes and patterns that are out of the norm
  • Noting and reporting any violent behavioral changes
  • Helping patients bathe, dress, and undress
  • Keeping track of patients’ fluid intake and output
  • Helping patients with routines such as skincare
  • Light housekeeping, including making patients’ beds
  • Working under registered nurses as their direct supervisors

Home Care: RNs, LPNs, or HHAs?

While HHAs can work in home care, their role does not involve the care of those who require serious medical attention. Specialty services may be required, especially when caring for those with chronic and degenerative illnesses. When it comes to serious conditions, home care nursing usually involves RNs and LPNs.

Hiring Qualified and Experience Medical Staff

Any nurse you hire has to be one that is qualified, experienced, and reliable. This is especially important when it comes to home care because family members do not want their loved ones being left with those they do not trust, or think are underqualified.
To ensure that your medical staffing needs are fully met, consider contacting Interim Healthcare. Our medical staffing service provides all kinds of personnel, from receptionists and secretaries to medical assistants and nurses. Check out our medical staffing solutions here and contact us here for any additional information – we look forward to hearing from you."

Article Categories: