Regulations often require that nurses do simple tasks like administer eyedrops.
One fix would be to deregulate important aspects of home care.
There are two million home health aides in the U.S. They spend more time with the elderly and disabled than anyone else, and their skills are essential to their clients’ quality of life. Yet these aides are poorly trained, and their national median wage is only a smidgen more than $10 an hour.
.. State regulations—in particular, Nurse Practice Acts—require registered nurses to perform even routine home-care tasks like administering eyedrops. That duty might not require a nursing degree, but defenders of the current system say aides lack the proper training. “What if they put in the cat’s eyedrops instead?”
.. But aides could do more. With less regulation and better training, they could become as integral to health-care teams as doctors and nurses. That could improve the quality of care while saving buckets of money for everyone involved.
.. New York state has created an “advanced aide” classification to recognize such training.