Understanding UAE’s home healthcare: deciphering roles and ensuring safety

Kelly Short McCullough, Home Healthcare Director at NeoHealth explores the varied roles of healthcare assistants, licensed nurses, and caregivers in the UAE’s home healthcare scene.

As someone who has managed home healthcare businesses in both the UK and the UAE, I can attest to the striking differences in these enterprises based on location. The unique aspect in our region is the ability to select a nurse for homecare—a departure from the UK where home care can be provided by individuals following employer-led “carer training.”

A prevalent misconception in this region revolves around the qualifications of those offering homecare. Providers often employ a mix of Healthcare Assistants, Licensed Nurses, and caregivers, leading to confusion about their roles and responsibilities.

The types of providers

Healthcare Assistants, while nurses in their home countries lack a Dubai license. Although they choose not to pursue a DHA license for various reasons, this decision limits them to tasks like companionship, childcare, and maternity care rather than complex clinical cases.

Licensed nurses, having passed the demanding DHA exam, can administer medication and handle intricate procedures such as tracheostomy care, ventilator management, and enteral medication.

Caregivers, distinct from nurses, typically undergo short caregiving courses and focus on childcare.

The discrepancy in roles lies in the extent of their education and experience. Licensed nurses command higher fees due to their extensive training, including a nursing degree, hospital experience, and success in the challenging DHA exam.

Regrettably, some homecare providers may charge premium rates for licensed nurses but supply healthcare assistants. Apart from financial concerns, this practice poses a significant risk, potentially requiring nurses to perform tasks beyond their authorized scope. It is crucial for clients to request a copy of the nurse’s license and a detailed profile of their experience to ensure transparency and safety.

Contrary to common assumptions, homecare extends beyond support and companionship to encompass various clinical services provided in hospitals. This versatility allows patients to receive care in the comfort of their homes, contributing to the significance of homecare services. This is what makes homecare is such an amazing service!  Homecare providers can have such a positive impact on people’s health and well-being while also allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own homes.

When evaluating homecare services, clients consistently prioritize reliability, professionalism, and training. As a home care company, it is our duty to vet nurses thoroughly, verifying qualifications and references. Our recruitment process involves multiple stages, ensuring that each nurse aligns with our values and standards.

Our commitment to quality extends beyond previous training records. Operating as an accredited training academy, we provide extensive induction and continuous professional development for our nurses. Our “Support library” fosters knowledge sharing within our team, addressing specific conditions and learning from challenging experiences.

Be clear about the service you need

Choosing the right service requires clarity about individual needs—be it clinical care, support, or companionship. If you are looking for a provider, you should actively engage with the company to discuss their requirements and seek advice on the most suitable support.

Meet the nurse

Meeting the nurse in person or via Zoom is a crucial step in ensuring comfort and compatibility. The importance of a personality match is often underestimated, highlighting the necessity for open communication to establish trust and rapport.

Understand the training provided

Understanding the training provided is equally essential. Inquiries about specialized training in medication administration, dementia, and stroke management should be made, along with clarification on the frequency of such training.

Check If They Provide Quality Assurance Checks

To gauge the quality of service, you should inquire about the provider’s quality assurance measures. Regular checks, early customer feedback, collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, and nurse well-being assessments are vital components of a reliable homecare service.

In conclusion, home healthcare in the UAE offers a unique landscape with diverse roles and qualifications. By prioritizing transparency, training, and client-provider communication, we can ensure a positive impact on individuals’ health and well-being, in the comfort of their homes.

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