Who are you going to call for all your nursing needs…PERSONAL HEALTH CARE! That’s right, Personal Health Care is a locally owned and operated, Medicare Certified, State Licensed Home Health Care Agency that serves our clients in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. All of our private duty nurses are fully insured and bonded by the Agency and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our nurses are able to provide service in the home, school, or bus setting and are capable of handling the most medically complex cases. Some of the skilled nursing services that we provide but are: RN Assessment, Wound Care, Tracheostomy Care and Medication Management. For a complete list of our skilled nursing services and other services that we can provide, please visit our website at: www.personalhealthcare.org or call us at 610-933-6130!
Being a nurse is all about the guts, not the glory! It’s a delicate balance of strength and compassion; knowledge and intuition; kindness and resolution. There are few professions where one minute you may be holding the hand of a patient who is dying while comforting a grief-stricken family; and the next minute be celebrating a miraculous recovery and remission of a patient with cancer. Whether you work with pediatrics or geriatrics or anyone in between, as nurses’ we possess the unique ability to adapt to any situation and transform into whatever our patients or their families need us to be; caregiver, communicator, teacher, advocate, leader, case manager, counselor, motivator or researcher. Nurses week is a wonderful reminder of all that nurses do day in and day out to improve the quality of life of their patients and their families!
Happy Nurses Week!
Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name but they will never forget the way you made them feel. — Maya Angelou
By: Laurie B. Conbeer, RN, BSN
As a home care nurse it goes without saying that one of the “perks” of the job is that you can devote all your time and energy to that one patient; ensuring individualized attention and care. As a result of this, it’s easy to see how quickly you become attached to your patients and their families. I have had the pleasure of working with the same patient for four years and I could not imagine my life without her! She is truly an extension of my own family and I often think of her as one of my own children. In fact her mother and I frequently joke that she is my child, as her birthday (October 25th) falls very nicely between my own two children’s birthdays (October 24th & 26th). So you can imagine how confused I get when asked to give one of the three dates of birth! Just as I do with my own children, I celebrate her victories; cry with her defeats, encourage her with her struggles, and continuously challenge her to be the best she can be. The overwhelming sense of joy that I feel caring for her and working with her family is difficult to put into words. As a mother I understand the leap of faith that is required to place your child in someone else’s hands, so I cannot even imagine how her parents must have felt four years ago trusting me to care for their very extraordinary daughter with special needs. Lucky for me they welcomed me with open arms and have embraced me into their family as well. Home care is a very unique sector of healthcare; one of the few places that a nurse can completely focus all their energy and resources on one patient. This allows you to truly feel like you are making a difference in someone’s life, and the job satisfaction that you take away from that experience is incredible!
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius
By: Laurie Conbeer, RN, BSN
Part II: Home Health Aides: Liability & Expertise
As you may recall, Personal Health Care launched Part I in the blog series, “Navigating the World of Home Health Care, in early February 2014. This blog discussed the concerns a caregiver may have when exploring the cost of a home health aide or home health agency. Now that we have addressed cost concerns, let us examine liability and expertise.
First, we will discuss liability. In the world of home health care, liability and workers’ compensation coverage is vital. Professional liability insurance coverage promises to pay on behalf of the insured (home health care agency) money damages that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay because of, (1) an injury arising from the failure of a health care staff member to deliver professional health care services; and/or (2) damages to the patients’ property that occur at the hands of a health care staff member. Another item that falls under the liability coverage umbrella is worker’s compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation coverage ensures that there is no liability for you or your family if an employee should be injured while in your home or providing services to you. Accidents happen even to the most careful and conscientious home health care aides, so when choosing an agency liability and workers’ compensation coverage are important items to consider.
Another significant item to take into consideration when selecting a home health agency or home health aide is expertise. How well does the agency screen their employees before they are hired? How qualified is the employee to provide care for your loved one? I can only speak to our agency’s requirements, so the following information is based on Personal Health Care’s hiring policy. Each home health aide must demonstrate that they have a minimum of 2 years of experience in a health care facility or other supervised setting prior to being scheduled for an interview. Our home health aides are then thoroughly screened with 3 professional and personal references and criminal, child abuse and FBI background checks. In addition, all of our home health aides are Medicare Certified (written and hands-on competency test) and complete 12 to 18 hours of additional training each year on up-to-date best practices in the home care industry. Each home health aide is then individually screened and selected to match up their level of expertise with the patient’s specific needs. While this process will not completely ensure that each aide is the perfect match for each patient, it certainly does help! Our mission is to ensure that we, as a home health agency, have done everything in our powers to properly screen and prepare each home health aide prior to sending them out into the homes of our patients. Our goal is to set both our home health aides and our patients up for optimal success; in other words, if the employee is happy and well-trained, then the patient is happy and well-cared for, and finally the caregiver is happy and have that piece of mind that they need to trust that their loved ones are receiving the best care possible!!
Please keep an eye out for our next blog in this series, “Navigating the World of Home Health Care,” where we will discuss other key items to consider when hiring a home health aide/ or home health agency.
Laurie B. Conbeer, RN, BSN
Assistant Director of Nursing
Personal Health Care’s clients are composed of Pediatric and Geriatric clients. Today, we serve as many Pediatric clients as we do Geriatric clients. The increase focus in serving Pediatric clients is a direct result of the increased needs of Pennsylvania’s family’s. We provide both home health aide service as well as nursing services to our kids. Our Pediatric clients range from 1 year old to 21. Their needs range from assistance with activities of daily living, one on one supervision, seizure management, mediation management, G-tube feedings, and Vent & Trach Care.
Many of the LPN’s and RN’s have several years of experience caring for our kids while a few have been able to make the switch from Geriatric patients to Pediatric patients. We have increased our hiring of experienced Home Health Aides who have experience with special needs children. We have also found that many nursing students looking to work as a Home Health Aide have had a great impact on our kids and families. When caring for our special needs children, our caregivers not only have to provide the necessary care for the client but also try and assimilate into the family.
We currently work with several insurance providers in Southeastern PA who provide coverage through Medicaid. As we move forward the demand for Geriatric care will increase but so will the need for care for our Pediatric Clients.
care, caregivers, Chester County, Delaware County, Director of Nursing, elderly, Genworth, home care, home health agency, home health aides, licensed home care, Montgomery County, nurse, PA, personal care, RN
Home Health Aides: You Get What You Pay For!
Most elderly and their primary caregivers agree that they would prefer to live out their lives at home rather than an assisted living facility or nursing home. This decision often means hiring a home health aide and/ or home health agency to support your loved one with their everyday needs including bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, medication management, shopping and all other activities of daily living (ADL’s). Once this decision is made the real work begins; selecting a home health aide or home health agency that you trust with the lives of your loved ones.
This blog will be part of a series titled, “Navigating the World of Home Health Care,” which will answer important questions relating to the topic of how to select a home health aide/ agency. For many of us, there are several things that we consider as priorities when choosing a home health aide or agency; including the following: Cost, Liability, Consistency, Expertise and Flexibility.
First, let’s discuss Cost. According to the “Genworth 2013 Cost of Care Survey,” the average cost of a licensed home health aide in Pennsylvania is $20/ hour. This may seem like a large sum, especially if you need someone for upwards of 8 hours per day, but let us consider what that cost covers. If you are working with a licensed, Medicare-certified home health agency this cost includes the following: competitive wage to the employee (typically around $11/hour), liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage for the employee, training, reference and background checks for the employee, and comprehensive case management and billing services for the patient and their families. In layman’s terms this cost covers you if… items in your home are lost or damaged at the hands of a home health aide through a licensed agency; your home health aide becomes injured on the job and requires medical attention; your loved ones care needs change and they now require a higher level of skilled care; or your home health aide is sick or takes vacation and you need coverage for your loved one. These are just some of the many scenarios that may occur when you have a home health aide in your home caring for a loved one.
So in terms of cost verses return on your investment it all comes down to risk. You may be able to find an unlicensed home health aide for $12/ hour; however you need to be willing to take the increased risk that comes with the hourly savings. The bottom line is you get what you pay for. If cost is the most important thing to you and you are looking to save money on caregivers for your loved one then paying someone out of pocket may be the best option for you. However, if you are not willing to take the risk of your home health aide calling in sick, not working well with your loved one, not being trained to care for your loved one properly and prevent issues (such as falls) and all the associated costs and lost time from work to manage these issues, then hiring a home health aide through a licensed home health agency would yield the highest return on your investment with a low amount of risk. Licensed agencies work very diligently to match the needs of your loved one with our home health aides, as well as adapting to the ever-changing needs and schedules of you and your loved ones. We strive to make the lives of our patients and their caregivers as stress-free as possible.
Please keep an eye out for our next blog in this series, “Navigating the World of Home Health Care,” where we will discuss other important items to consider when hiring a home health aide/ or home health agency.
Laurie B. Conbeer, RN, BSN
Assistant Director of Nursing
Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, HHA, home care, home health agency, home health aides, LPN, Montgomery County, nurse, Pediatric Nursing at Home & School, personal care, Philadelphia County, private nursing, RN
Since 1981, Personal Health Care has been committed to delivering reliable, affordable, and professional in-home care.
Personal Health Care is a locally owned and operated, Medicare Certified, State Licensed Home Health Care Agency that serves our clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.
We are proud to offer service to the entire Southeastern PA while remaining close where we started on the Main Line. The towns below are a small sample of areas we service on the Main Line which include but not limited to Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Berwyn, Devon, Gladwyne, Haverford, Malvern, Paoli, Radnor, Rosemont, Villanova, Wayne, and Wynnewood.
Our experienced team of professionals will work with you and your loved ones to develop a care plan that meets the unique needs of your health and safety from two to twenty-four hours a day, up to seven days a week.Personal Health Care provides service to infants with complex medical needs to older adults needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living and everything in-between.
Our Staff includes Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and Home Health Aides (HHA) whose focus is the one-on-one support of our clients and their needs. Personal Health Care has the ability to provide nursing or aide support for any of our client’s needs.
Check back often to our blog to find the latest news and helpful tips from Personal Health Care .
Call Us Today! 610-933-6130