Can home health care nurses care for COVID victims?
Where do home health care nurses stand in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis? The entire healthcare industry is straining to deal with the COVID-19 case load. The demand for health care professionals across the sector has never been greater or more pressing. This is true across the world, but particularly so in epicenters such as New York.We have heard about the dangers and difficulties faced by nurses and other health care professionals in hospital environments, but where do home health care nurses stand in all of this? Our nurses have commitments to care for thousands of elderly and vulnerable people across New York, who are confined to their homes and for whom home care is an essential service. This is fine, assuming that both the nurses and patients in question are free of the virus, but what about those that are infected?
High infection risk
As soon as COVID-19 enters into the equation, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, for nurses to continue caring for their in-home patients. Care for COVID-19 patients is more easily facilitated in a hospital, where infection control measures can be applied. Even in hospitals, however, this is becoming difficult, due to the shortage of personal protection equipment. It follows then that caring for a COVID-19 patient in the less controlled environment of a home is not feasible. Considering the high infectiousness of COVID-19, nurses should not care for home-bound patients who have contracted the virus. The only viable option for the successful and safe treatment of the patient is for them to be admitted to hospital. Although some Corona-virus positive people can self-quarantine at home, this is not advisable for the kinds of patients that home care nurses typically deal with, who often already have weakened immune systems.This answers the question as we currently understand it. Tri-Med Home Care Services’ nurses will continue to provide quality care where both nurse and patient are free of the virus, but in the event of an infection, home health care nurses should not continue to provide in-home care and patients should seek care at a medical facility.
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