If you are getting ready to embark on a new career in the home health field, you will need to be able to work with a number of different pieces of medical equipment. In addition to handling medications, changing bed linens, and emptying a catheter, you can count on being needed for other tasks. Here are just a few pieces you should get some practice with before working with a patient.
Beds and Lifts
While they are not difficult to understand, beds and lifts are often a part of home health care. Beds can raise and/or lower different parts of the body, or the whole body all at once. You do not want to have your patient being folded up like a taco or a part lowered in an uncomfortable manner. A lift is great to use when you have a larger patient that needs to be taken from the bed into a chair or from a chair into the bed. This will not only make the job easier, it will save your back and reduce the risk of dropping a patient onto the floor.
If a patient needs oxygen, you need to be able to administer it. You may have to adjust the flow of oxygen, attach tubing to a tank, change a tank, and maybe even fit the mask or cannulas to the patient. If your patient is asthmatic or has a respiratory infection you will need to be familiar with nebulizers. It is important to not only know how one works but how to put in the medicine and how much is needed. Knowing how all this is done before the patient is having trouble breathing could save his or her life.
Prosthetic arms and/or legs must be attached properly or the patient can develop sores that may become infected. It is important you know how to make sure they are on correctly and how to clean and store them once you take them off. There are also devices that can be attached to a patient's arm to enable him or her to eat, write, type, or even drive. You may also need to insert hearing aids or help put in dentures.
Take a trip to a medical supply store to see all the different types of equipment. Ask the sales person about items you have never seen and then do a bit of research to find out how they are used. Any time you get a new client, be sure to pay attention to the equipment he or she currently uses. If you do not know how to use something, contact your supervisor and ask for a lesson on the piece. Being prepared so you can adequately help a patient is an important aspect of your job.
For more information, contact companies like Lincoln Mobility.