What are the differences between a registered nurse and a carer? How do you know which one is the right private home care provider for you? If you have an elderly loved one in need of care at home, it is important to know the difference between a nurse and a caregiver and which one will be suitable for your elderly loved one’s particular needs.
In today’s blog article, we will look at the main differences between a private carer and a nurse so that you can make an informed decision for your loved one’s care. Keep reading to learn more!
Is A Carer A Nurse?
Good In-Home Care companies use both Nurses and Carers both Qualified and Companions in teams to provide care services to elderly clients in their homes. Nurses provide clinical-based care for which they have been trained which includes medication management, wound care, catheter care, physical assessments and complex care delivery plans. Carers will be required to provide some of the elements of the care that have been determined by a nurse responsible for your loved one.
The Differences Between Registered Nurses, Qualified Carers and Companion Carers
Registered Nurses can be Registered Nurses (RN – Division 1) or Endorsed Enrolled Nurses (EEN – Division 2). RN Division 1, train for a minimum of 3 years at a university before obtaining a Bachelor of Nursing degree. Many bachelor-trained nurses can then go on to specialise by doing graduate certificates in areas like ICU, Operating Theatres, Emergency Department, Midwifery, and Aged Care to name a few. EEN Division 2 nurses study at TAFE level for 18 months to obtain a Diploma in Nursing.
They are medically trained so can administer medications as directed by a doctor as well as other care service areas. After qualifying, both groups of nurses have to be registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Professionals Registration Association). This organisation is responsible for oversight of the registration qualifications of all practising health professionals – nurses, doctors, dentists, physios, OTs, Podiatrists etc. Once they are fully registered and licensed, nurses can practise a wide range of nursing responsibilities in different healthcare settings and hospitals.
Qualified Carers have obtained a TAFE qualification to Certificate 3 or 4 in Aged, Community or Disability Care. Some carers can be nursing students studying to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in nursing but do not have a certificate. Qualified Carers can also decide to undertake additional education so they can specialise in areas such as Palliative Care or Dementia.
These carers usually do not have any formal training so are not qualified to provide hygiene or manual handling services to clients. They often do have experience having cared for elderly or sick parents or relatives. They can provide personal support, house cleaning and travel support for non-complex clients. These carers are an important part of the In-Home Care team and take on duties that are valuable to the clients and free up Qualified Carers and Nurses to provide more complex care and health services.
What To Look For When Introducing In-Home Care Services
When you are looking at introducing In-Home Care services, the important things to look for are:
- Do registered nurses assess, discuss and implement an agreed (with client and family) plan of care to be delivered by a team – Registered Nurse, Qualified Carer, or Companion Carer?
- Do the Registered Nurses keep in regular contact with clients and families to ensure that all the care plans are provided are, and are making a difference to the well-being of the client?
- Does the In-Home Care service have access to Registered Nurses to provide after-hours support (outside normal business hours) for the services they are providing? This ensures that care services that operate around the clock, always have registered nurse oversight and assistance for the client, family and carers if required.
What Are the types of services provided by In Home-based Services?
Care assessments and physical assessments provide the basis for establishing a plan of care. If there are clinical care needs such as complex medications, catheter management, wound care, specialised pressure area and manual handling care, and complex post-hospital discharge care, these are some of the types of services that Registered Nurses are experts in and will lead to a care delivery team.
Qualified and Companion Carers
A good plan of care developed by a registered nurse is then carried out by Qualified Carers.
If your loved one is assessed as needing care in the following areas, home-based caregivers are trained to provide assistance with everyday tasks that often include:
Qualified Carers will typically provide care in the following areas;
- Bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Laundry and light housekeeping and assisting clients to maintain independence
- Meal preparation and dietary support
- Medication administration or reminders
- Incontinence care and assistance with toileting
Companion Carers are highly supportive and work well in these types of areas;
- Transportation and accompanying patients to doctor’s appointments
- Companionship and socializing
- Meal preparation
- Cleaning and Laundry
This is not to say that Qualified Carers do not do roles that Companion Carers do, many qualified carers and registered nurses enjoy spending quality time with their clients in and outside the home. Good In-Home Care providers ensure their carers work together with clients and families as a team, providing support for their clients and each other to ensure the best service possible.
Contact Luxe Care Today!
If you’re unsure about whether your situation needs the services of a caregiver for assisted living or a nurse to provide professional medical care, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Luxe Care. Our expert consultants will be happy to discuss your specific home care needs with you. Our care managers will conduct a free consultation and provide you with a Care Plan to suit you and the specific needs of your loved one.