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Duties & Responsibilities of a Home Nurse

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Having a home nurse care for an ailing family member is not uncommon. Hiring a competent home nurse allows patients to stay in familiar surroundings and ensures they are not mistreated in a nursing facility. Having a home nurse also allows terminally ill patients to spend their sunset years with dignity, outside a hospital setting. The patient's primary physician can recommend a qualified home nurse. The home nurse provides services to assist the doctor's care on a daily basis.

Complete Physician-Ordered Treatments

A home nurse provides treatments and procedures ordered by the doctor. These tasks include giving injections and medication, drawing blood, changing catheters, giving enemas, tube feeding, wound care and limited IV therapy. A home nurse can usually administer any task that is taken care of in a hospital .

Check Medication

Not only do home nurses administer medication, they provide the proper dosage. They review the medication and educate the patient about the prescription. The home nurse organizes pills for the week in pill bins, according to the doctor's order. The home nurse ensures medication is not confused, which sometimes occurs in public facilities with multiple patients.

Complete Patient Assessments

Home nurses make recommendations to the doctor based on patient assessments. They request additional equipment or services to benefit the client. They also regularly check vital signs and report any problems to the primary physician.

Maintain Medical Equipment

Not only do home nurses use equipment that is usually used in a hospital, they are responsible for its upkeep. They must run and maintain all the medical equipment from drips to respirators. The home nurse makes sure everything is clean and in proper working order.

Take Care of Sanitary Needs

A home nurse is responsible for the personal needs of the patient. Especially important for incapacitated patients, the nurse takes care of personal hygiene--bathing, washing hair and keeping the bed clean. The home nurse is responsible for the well-being of the patient on a daily basis.


Monica Dorsey began her writing career in 2001, authoring career and college advice articles online and in print. Her work has appeared in publications such as "Philadelphia Metro,” "Collegebound Magazine” and PC&U publications.

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