The Chain of Command

As a home health aide, you are carrying out instructions given to you by a nurse.  The nurse is acting on the instructions of a physician or other member of the care team. This is called the chain of command.  It guarantees that a client gets proper health care.  It also protects you and your employer from liability.

Home health aides must understand what they can and cannot do.  This is important so that you do not harm a client or involve yourself or your employer in a lawsuit.  Some states certify that a home health aide is qualified to work.  However, home health aides are not licensed healthcare providers.  Everything you do in your job is assigned to you by a licensed healthcare professional.  You do your job under the authority of another person’s license.  That is why these professionals will show great interest in what you do and how you do it.

Every state grants the right to practice various jobs in health care through licensure.  Examples include granting a license to practice nursing, medicine or physical therapy.  All members of the healthcare team work under each professional’s scope of practice.