Why You Should be a Home Health Aide During the Time of the Coronavirus
April 03 2020
Caring for Patients at Home Also Contributes to Battling COVID-19
With many healthcare professionals coming out of retirement to help hospitals with the demand of COVID-19 patients, it is also important to remember that hospitals aren’t the only places healthcare professionals can work to help win this battle against the virus.
If you are coming out of retirement to help, thinking of switching healthcare jobs or even just beginning your healthcare career, there are several reasons why you should choose to be a home health aide during the time of the Coronavirus.
There are Other Healthcare Needs
1There are still many other healthcare needs during this time. Just because we are in the middle of a pandemic, does not mean that people will not stop suffering from chronic conditions, develop new conditions or even have accidents. Fortunately, many of these other healthcare needs can be met through home health care. Home health care is the healthier option for non-COVID patients.
As a home health care aide, you have the opportunity to care for those in the comfort of their own home as they battle cancer, chronic pain conditions or live out their days with dementia. These patients are deserving of great care in a safe and comfortable environment and home health care can offer just that. It has been shown that patients heal faster and comply better with treatment when they are comfortable, and what better place to be comfortable than at home!
2Hospitals are seeing a large influx of Coronavirus patients. And with a large staff of nurses, aides, doctors, janitors and other staff, it can be easy to pass the virus around, especially with the shortage in PPE.
You: By avoiding hospitals and caring for non-COVID patients only, you will ensure that there are healthcare professionals who are well and able to care for non-COVID patients. And since you are less likely to get sick, you are also less likely to pass on the virus to the vulnerable population you are caring for. As an added bonus, you are less likely to infect your own family.
Your Patients: As just mentioned, many of your patients are part of the more vulnerable group who are at risk for more severe complications for Coronavirus should they contract it. By not going to hospitals and other larger facilities for their care, they will be less likely to contract the virus because they will still be able to fully isolate at home. This will help ensure that there are less critical Coronavirus patients.
Lessen the Burden on Larger Facilities
3By caring for non-COVID patients at home, you can lessen the burden on larger facilities, like hospitals. When there are more home health aides it means home health agencies can take on more patients. This will free up rooms for COVID-19 patients at these larger facilities.
There is also an opportunity to care for Coronavirus patients at home. Even just caring for those who are mildly ill with the Coronavirus in their own homes can also lessen the burden on larger facilities.
Be sure to speak with your potential home health care agency as to how they will handle caring for those sick with the virus. Home health agencies that are doing this right, will have non-COVID staff and COVID staff to avoid creating new Coronavirus patients.
While caring for your patients in their homes, whether they have Coronavirus or not, be sure to continue with proper techniques to avoid getting sick, such as wearing proper PPE and routinely washing your hands and using hand sanitizer. And be careful when dealing with certain surfaces. A new study has shown the virus can live for several hours longer on plastic, glass and stainless steel in comparison to other surfaces. Check out this article in USA Today for more information about the virus’ rate of decay on certain surfaces. Knowing this information can not only protect you, but it can also protect your patients.
4As the battle against the virus intensifies, many hospitals are now limiting visitors, especially those who would want to visit family members sick with the Coronavirus. This disease is especially isolating in a hospital setting. Patients who are seriously ill are being intubated alone, which can be a scary process for many. And those who are terminal are dying alone in hospitals.
By caring for seriously ill or terminally ill COVID-19 patients at home, they most likely will still be allowed limited family access (depending on the agency). This will help them through the scary process of intubation and ensure they won’t die alone. Not only that, but by receiving care for Coronavirus at home, it will ensure that patients are able to make health decisions on their own terms.
We are all in this together. As a health care worker, you can make a difference, even outside of a hospital setting. You can choose to help work with the vulnerable population of those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, ensuring that they can fully self isolate to avoid becoming sick with the Coronavirus. You can also choose to work with only COVID-19 patients in their homes. This will help lessen the burden on larger facilities and ensure that these patients receive the care and support they need from you and their families.