Trained medical professional assisting patient with insulin management

What Do We Mean by Skilled Nursing?

While all in-home care requires a certain level of expertise, some services necessitate a high level of medical attention. These services must be administered by licensed health professionals, such as registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The type of care that requires this level of medical attention is known as skilled nursing. Understanding this terminology is important when determining viable care options for yourself or a loved one.

Ideal Home Care Services is a leading provider of first-class care services for patients located throughout Long Island. Here, we offer insight into the question of what is skilled nursing, as well as discuss why it should not be done by an unlicensed medical professional.

What Is Skilled Nursing?

The term skilled nursing is often misused, leaving many patients and their families unsure about what it really entails. It’s important to note that skilled nursing is a type of service and not a description of the quality of service.

Skilled nursing may be needed in the short term to help a patient rehabilitate from an illness or injury, or it could be necessary over the long term for patients who require constant care due to a chronic medical condition. Examples of skilled nursing services include:

Feeding Tube

Some clients have difficulties swallowing and are unable to safely obtain essential nutrients by mouth. Therefore, they must get the nutrients they need by use of a feeding tube. Nutrient-packed liquids are introduced via the tube, providing patients with easily digestible nutrition and hydration. Skilled nursing services entail monitoring the client during and after feeding, as well as keeping the tube clean and in good working order.

Insulin Management

Diabetic patients require insulin management to treat their condition. Skilled nursing services involve testing sugar levels and administering the appropriate amounts of insulin.

Tracheostomy Care

A tracheostomy is an opening that surgeons make through the front of the neck and into the windpipe (trachea). A tube is inserted into the opening to help patients breathe. If necessary, the tube can be connected to an oxygen supply and a ventilator.

For the safety of the patient, tracheostomy tubes must be suctioned and cleaned routinely. Skilled nursing includes managing and replacing the inner cannula, suctioning for better breathing, and overall hygiene.

Wound Care

Wounds that take longer to heal require the attention of licensed healthcare professionals. Patients with extensive wounds can benefit from skilled nursing services by having their wounds kept clean, monitored for infection and other complications, and bandaged.

Infusion Therapy

Patients are prescribed infusion therapy to treat a number of health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, cancers, congestive heart failure, dehydration, and others. The treatment refers to the delivery of medications directly into the veins of a patient, also known as intravenous or IV administration. Skilled nursing services involve safely administering medications and fluids to patients either intravenously or subcutaneously.

The Importance of Skilled Nursing

Given all it entails, skilled nursing is often more comprehensive than traditional care. Because of this, it requires professional training and certification. With this advanced training, healthcare professionals are better equipped to handle complex medical needs and provide higher care. Receiving skilled nursing services from someone who is not properly trained can be extremely dangerous and result in several devastating consequences. Under no circumstances should skilled nursing services be administered by someone other than certified medical professionals.

Skilled Nursing Care at Ideal Home Care Services

More individuals are choosing to age in the comfort of their own homes. Ideal Home Care Services is happy to accommodate by offering skilled nursing services provided by licensed healthcare professionals in the patient’s place of residence. Based in Hauppauge, New York, and serving clients throughout Long Island, our professional nurses are qualified to handle a wide range of crucial medical tasks.

For more information regarding what skilled nursing care is and whether or not you or a loved one can benefit from it, contact us today at Ideal Home Care Services.