Sometimes, an accident, chronic condition, or an unexpected, illness completely changes the course of a person’s life. This change may mean constant care and companionship from a health care professional. If you are a home health care professional, you have the privilege of being invited into a person’s home to provide that care and companionship. This means you are coming into your clients' lives during a very trying and difficult time.
The home health professional, in order to effectively and positively impact their client’s life, must abide by a code of honor. Unbreakable rules to follow when caring for someone in their home.
1. Be humble
Whether you are new to the medical field or have been working in healthcare for decades, home health care puts you on the client’s turf and every experience is new and different. Before entering a client’s home, remind yourself that there is always something you can learn from those you care for.
It’s important to stay humble. You are in their home to heal and to teach but also to learn about them, their family dynamic, and their community.
Working with humility gives you the ability to take lessons learned and apply them to all the clients you touch on a daily basis with love and compassion.
2. Be a team player
The saying goes, “no man is an island,” and this saying couldn’t be more appropriate for the home health care field! No successful healthcare professional works alone and this is true for the home health care professional as well. This is a field of collaboration, cooperation, and camaraderie. There is a team of professionals behind you, because you simply cannot promote healing on your own.
As you care for your clients you are also caring for their “team” of caregivers. It may be their family and friends, or perhaps neighbors. You, your team of colleagues, and their family of caregivers must work together to promote health and healing for your client.
Knowing that a whole group of loved ones and professionals are behind them during this difficult time in their lives, will give them a true sense of security.
3. Be compassionate
One of the most important things about being a healthcare professional, no matter your field or specialty, is your bedside manner, even when you aren’t at bedside. Healthcare work requires a certain amount of intimacy, especially for those who are being treated at home.
Entering their home with warmth and kindness is fundamental to your work. People want to stay at home because that is where they are most comfortable. Having a stranger in their space can be very difficult, your compassion can ease any anxiety they may feel over this transition.
If you view the client you are caring for as nothing more than a patient who needs treatment, you are doing your client and their family a disservice. You cannot build trust without first forming bonds with those you care for.
Showing your clients how dedicated you are to caring for them encourages emotional, as well as, physical healing.
4. Be on time
This rule may seem silly to include on this list, yet, this may be one of the most important rules to follow. Do not take lightly the responsibility you have as a home health care professional to be on time. Caregiving is demanding work for a family. Your reliable presence keeps them balanced in their lives.
Your clients and their family members need to know they can count on you. There is peace of mind that comes from being able to unequivocally rely on the professional who cares for them or their loved one.
5. Be trustworthy
Trust between you, the client, and their families is paramount to care and recovery. Caring for people in their homes comes with many responsibilities that go above and beyond a client’s treatment.
When you step into a client’s home, you step into their life.
It’s important to establish yourself as a trustworthy professional, someone they can count on through, what is most certainly, one of the most challenging times in their life. It’s important to instill in your client that you have their best interest at heart, that you will work with discretion and respect their privacy.
When you have an opportunity to provide solace and companionship, seize it! Part of keeping clients happy and healthy at home is ensuring their privacy is your priority. Breaking this trust can damage not only your own reputation as a professional but the reputation of the agency you represent.
To abide by these rules is to provide the utmost compassionate, reliable, and excellent care for those in need. Whether you are providing skilled medical care or companionship, show clients that you care about them by doing what you can, big or small.
A true home health care professional embraces their role in a person’s life, loves their clients, and is surely loved in return.