Home nursing is intended for patients whose health condition does not require inpatient care, but who still need professional medical care. Home nursing may be necessary to a person with reduced mobility who is not able go to the doctor on their own. A home nurse is, therefore, also an important link between a family physician or attending physician and a person in need. A family physician or medical specialist decides whether a patient needs home nursing service. A referral is required, where the physician has to indicate the patient's health problems and treatment, and the nurse has to note any needs for nursing care. Home nursing, like all other outpatient nursing care services, is free of charge for insured persons. EHIF pays for these services.
Activities carried out during a home nurse visit include drawing up a nursing care plan, counseling and nursing the patient, performing treatment procedures and certain tests. All home nursing services are listed in Regulation No. 55 of the Minister of Social Affairs: List of independently provided nursing care services.
For example, during a home visit, a home nurse:
- gives advice - teaches how to use aids, instructs and teaches family members and offers diet advice;
- performs nursing procedures - prevents and treats bedsores and performs position treatment; measures blood pressure; installs a bladder catheter; maintains a permanent catheter; maintains and replaces a suprapubic catheter; maintains stomas; treats wounds and ulcers; maintains a tracheostomy tube; places and maintains a peripheral venous cannula; places a nasogastric tube; teaches tube feeding; performs inhalations and measures blood sugar with a glucometer;
- performs medical procedures based on a doctor's decision - removes wound sutures; performs oxygen therapy; administers medicines intramuscularly, intravenously, subcutaneously, orally or rectally; administers nutrient solutions; performs pain management; performs peritoneal dialysis and, if necessary, certain laboratory tests;
- provides symptomatic treatment and relieving treatment in cancer patients.
A nurse’s responsibility is to attend minor or moderate health concerns in nursing homes. This means that a nurse does not solve serious health problems or treat those seriously ill. The costs of care services, medicines and aids continue to be borne by the person or his/her relatives.