IS it better to work in a nursing home or for a home health agency?

  1. OK, I have interviews in two places but not sure which one i should take if I am offered the job. I like the home health b/c its one on one contact so I won't have too many patients, but its less pay $7.50/hr, also no one to ask for help. I also have to cook meals. While the nursing home, more patient interaction, i can ask co workers for help, and more pay $9/hr.
    Any advice, what kind of facility do u work in?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    You don't have to limit yourself to either. You might want to try to get a schedule with three or four shifts at the nursing home and one or two shifts in home health. Don't be fooled by the rate of pay. You might be getting a little more at the nursing home, but believe me when I say you will more than earn it. And you can't depend on your co-workers to help you. A lot of them are uncooperative. Not all, but a lot. I would try to at least start out in the nursing home with maybe a shift or two in home health. Then after you have worked for awhile, you can choose to drop one of the jobs if it doesn't suit you or you need to free up your schedule for nursing school. I can assure you that you will find home health to be a lot easier on your back, your energy, and your peace of mind. You can do a lot more for one patient in eight hours than you can for up to 20. That makes for better job satisfaction and less frequent burnout. Good luck in your choice. I forgot to add: Look for a home health agency that pays better. Home health aides can earn $12 an hour or more. Just ask around and see who pays better. Same for the nursing home, some pay better than others.
  4. by   jenky789
    I've done both. Been doing home health for 2 years now. It really depends on what's important to you. Home health can give you a much higher income if you can find the right place. My company pays per visit at a rate of $14.85. They pay you for every mile you drive, 58.05 cents/mile which is way more than you spend on gas. I like the freedom of not being stuck in one place and driving in my car listening to music all of the time. You don't have to punch a clock or have a supervisor breathing down your neck all of the time. But your back will take a beating with hh. It's just you and the patient without a lot of other aides to step in and help lift. My back has gone out a few times in the last year and it's not fun. If I could start over I think I'd get some hospital experience as a cna.
  5. by   moncj66
    Well, Im actually Not a CNA. Im a nursing student, so i think thats called a nurse tech or something, so I expected to get less money and I have no experience. Great feedback, thanks!
  6. by   caliotter3
    In my state you are only allowed to work for a short period of time (I think no more than four months) before you are required to have a CNA certificate. The exception to this would be if you are hired by a private party to do in home care. They can hire anyone they want. It would be to your advantage to get a CNA and HHA certificate. Makes you eligible for more jobs and more pay. Good luck in nursing school.
  7. by   cnaeva99
    I'm a CNA. Depends on the type of experience that you want. I work in Assisted Living and have several pts to deal with on an 8 hour shift. The work is hard but at least you have other CNAs there to help. In Home Health you would be on your own. It's nice you would probably only have 1 pt but there would be no help there.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Not every patient is hard to manage. It is true that you may have some hefty ones, but not always. It all depends on the case. Most times, it is more relaxing and you can give much better care to one patient than many. However, depending on the circumstances and environment, it may not be worth it.

    I can give several examples; a home filled with roaches and vermin, family that makes you miserable, the location may be too far, dangerous neighborhood, or the client may be an SOB.

    When I was a home health aide, one situation was so compromising that I had to leave within a week. This woman gave the story that she is 'flexible', however, there were several factors that I didn't like. I had two cases, within blocks from each other. One case was 9-1, the other was 2-6, both were Monday thru Friday. The 2-6 lead me to believe she was 'understanding', but she would ask that I come 'early', but it interfered with the first case. Then...and I hate to say it, she was racist. She felt that each time a Black person used her bathroom, it had to be sanitized with bleach, Lestoil and then, sprayed (she actually said this to me). That felt degrading. Then, once, I took her to a doctor's appointment around the corner from her home and we were finished in less than an hour, so, she told me I can leave. The next day, she told me that because she let me leave, I was obligated to come to work on Saturday to make up the time. I declined. When I said no, she faked a fainting spell (almost like Fred Sanford's "Big One"). She told me that she is surprized that I looked decent, because most Black people didn't. After 4 days of this, I called the agency and told them I wouldn't return the following week. She was an ambulatory, independent woman, but it was not worth my pride to go to work feeling like this every day, and I was a young girl...about 19. And, the other client was so sweet, that I knew she didn't deserve for her time to be cut because of this selfish woman. It is one thing to take abuse in a facility, where you can eventually move on to the next person. It is another when you are in their home, their space, and THEY rule.

    Some try to get you to do more than you are supposed to, such as painting, move furniture, or shampoo carpets (seriously!)

    Each situation is different and unique. When I did home care as a nurse, it was a bit better, but eventually, due to other reasons, it was best that I didn't bother with it for awhile.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Let me add that I am not talking you out of home health. I just wanted you to see that there are other sides to consider. It can be a good thing, but advocate for yourself tactfully.
  10. by   moncj66
    lol, r u serious, painting and shampooing the carpets!! I don't think Im up for that..yeah, Im also african american and I have already seen racist people in the hospital, one lady didn't want me touching her...its soo sad that its 2008 and their still so much racism... thanks for showing me the other side..I really hope u didn't paint dat house! LMAO, thats funny...
  11. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    My advice is to take the state certification and become a CNA. Once you do that you have some creditability and you can go from there. I would suggest you really look around before you take either of these jobs, find a place with decent pay and staff that really enjoys working for that company. Trust me when I say that a decent paycheck doesn't make it worth working for some companies and that being certified allows you a lot of more options and won't force you to settle for some of the sketchier companies.

    !Chris
  12. by   rancelumsden
    If you're new to the field, it is FAR better to work in LTC. Why? Depth of experience. You will learn all kinds of transfer techniques, have interaction and assistance to many types of patients in various conditions, learn how to do things as well as how not to do things, etc.
    Once you have a year of experience, you're very well prepared for going on your own.

    As I always tell people, there is what you learned in class and how the 'real world' actually works....
  13. by   beauty1216
    It really depends on your skill level and what you are comfortable with. I would not suggest doing home health until you get some kind of Nursing Home skill. Being in the Nursing Home setting will help you learn to work under supervision and minimal supervison when you are on your own. This goes for CNA's, LPN's & RN's. You get good practice with different entitities, with people from all walks of life with all kinds of life altering issues. After working in the fast paced environment of a nursing home or hospital, you know right away whats needed of you should you decide to go to home care.

    I am personally enjoying home care right now. However, work is not always as steady, and many times Home Health Agencies are not willing to pay you that much. Sure you have 1 resident to care for at a time-maybe 2, but many home jobs require some kind of light housekeeping. So don't expect to shoot the breeze with Mrs. Smith for 4-8 hours! You have to decide which would work out better for you. A nursing home is very, very fast, and many times you can only give minimal care. The time goes by pretty fast. If you are like me, you go home feeling bad for not getting back to Mr or Mrs. So and So as you would have liked too. With home health, you can dedicate all your time to one client, and you can truley see the difference you make in their life. Like all jobs, HHA and Nursing Homes have thier pro's and their cons. HTH:wink2:
  14. by   Student179
    What does a CNA do at a homecare agency? My first day is tomorrow and I am going in with a blindfold b/c I have no idea what to do.

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