Masters in Nursing Home Health
The phenomenal growth of home health agencies has made this degree a career track in a booming field. The Masters in Nursing Home Health Specialist degree is a clinical nurse specialist program with concentration in managing home health services and in the medical details associated with providing those services. A home health specialist may also work directly with patients, in situations where a high level of medical expertise is needed to assess or treat a home health patient. Many agencies find that advanced practice nurses can provide these services as well as physicians can, at less cost and often with a more practiced bedside manner. There are treatment aspects to home health care that differ from a hospital or clinic environment, something that nurses are often more sensitive to than doctors.
A home health care team for a geriatric patient may include, under varying circumstances, an occupational therapist, speech language therapist, physical therapist, lab technician, home health care aide, registered nurse, or housekeeper. A Masters in Nursing Home Health Specialist may play a management role for coordinating services to home health care patients. In many cases that requires an assessment of the patient's needs that goes well beyond daily medication and nutrition. The range of therapy services available for home delivery today, particularly for elderly patients, requires that the patient be given ongoing assessment to determine the rate of progress (or lack of it) along with the patient's opinion about treatment and condition.
A clinical nurse specialist working in this field will need to be knowledgeable about occupational therapy, speech language therapy, and the other forms of treatment that are offered to patients who need rehabilitation. There is a strong psychological element to this position as well; there is no substitute for a personal visit to assess the health and well being of the patient. While much of the job requires healthcare administration, taking interest in the progress of patients is also important to the degree possible. As with most administrative healthcare jobs, this one will require case management input offering expertise and advocacy for third party payment of services.