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Home Health Care and Hospice Nurses


Home health care originated with the visiting nurse agencies more than 115 years ago. At that time, the need was critical; there were few hospitals to serve many communities, and where they existed, they usually cared only for those who were seriously ill. Patients were cared for by their families at home. The introduction of trained medical professionals into the household not only improved the quality of medical care available, but brought compassion and support to help both the patient and the family.

Though they were originally intended to serve communities without adequate health care, home health care and hospice nurses are now in demand for another reason. Today, as patients spend less time in the hospital and as more medical procedures are done on an outpatient basis, the need for professional follow-up care in the home is essential. Recovery, rehabilitation, and care for illnesses and injuries are happening in the home. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice reports that health care workers provide in-home care to 12 million Americans who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled each year. 

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