I have failed as an HH nurse

  1. Today, i did the unthinkable. I had to take a job at a nursing home for a whopping $15hr. I was amking about $1200 a week. My so called wonderful independent nursing buisness is about dead. I had 2 clients that i bragged about earlier, 1 was a 29 year old that been in a comma for the past 13 years, he was my main income. He died last week. Now, with the 8 year old I care for, she is only left with 8 hrs a week. I can't live on $312 a week. Can you believe a HH agency pays this girl's mother to look after her, doing so, eats up all the available hrs.. Must be nice to get paid for sleeping..

    I am on my 5 th day of no gainful employment. I have done everything everybody advised me to do and still..nothing, no bites. With all the new privacy laws, the patients now have to contact me

    I have sent out flyers, biz cards, called about everybody in the phonebook, talked with doc pals, with no success. Everybody just tells me they will give out my information. They can't give me the patients names or phone numbers but can tell the patients to call me. There are hundreds of patients, but they have to call me. Most think they can't fire their worthless Pool agency..

    Carestar, who is the "overlooker" of all the people that needs HH, says the same thing, add me to the data base or forward my info.. I can't live on maybe.. Im glad and sorry that I only did this for 2 months...I loved it, I will continue to fight, but Im about beat.. Thank You all for the advise..I will survive..hopefully..Brenda
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   katscan
    You said you have sent out flyers etc to people you kow-how about people you do not know? You are startng a small business, and you must think as a businesswoman, not as a nurse for the time being . You must get your name in front of everyone in your town. Leave cards in restaurant jars, and on bulletin boards at the supermarket. When my husband and I were starting out and building a veterinary clinic, we put flyers on cars. How about advertizing in your towns paper and the little "local" papers for the surrounding towns. There are books on this subject and you are not wasting time reading them. You may have to take out a small business loan to cover expenses, but heck, you are a small business. You will pay it back and it is a good investment.Use your time off wisely to invest in and learn about advertizing plans. You have to get the word out!! How about your women's business associations and professional associations. The service orgs in your community-Elks, Masons etc?. Many of them are older and may actually need your services or know of someone who does. You have to be creative here-how about your school nurses and the head of the PTO? I am a school nurse with access to many parents. If someone askd me about home health, I would not hesitate to give out your name... One never knows from where or whom a referral may originate. You said they have to call you-fine-but they have to know who to call in the first place. Some of the professions are now using cupons and there are little newsletters that you can be in for a fee. How about calling the papers and having the current events editor do a feature? You are a small business opening and it is news.Most of all roll up your sleeves and give it a good fight. do not give up.!! Maybe relatives and friends can help also. Best of luck!
  4. by   JNJ
    Nursebailey:
    Please do not give up - the nursing world is so very much in need of independent nurses. This cycle will change and you will be back in business again. Read the reply you have already had carefully - it was full of great ideas.

    Get a basic business card printed with something simple after your name such as "Amanda Bailey Licensed Practical Nurse (LVN) - experienced in the care of your loved ones at home.

    Call for free in-home consultation. References available"

    HIPAA does not mean you cannot advertise.

    And please do not complain about a mother being paid to look after her sick child. We do not make ourselves more or better by standing on someone else. This mother must be entitled to these care $. By all means fight for what you want/need, but not by putting someone else down.

    I practice in a similar line of work to yourself. I mainly work with Medi-Cal patients at home. Have you tried contacting a senior supervisor type person at your State's Medicaid offices. They may be able to help you by giving your name to a patient needing more/different nurses.

    Also, as you have peds. experience, have you tried to get into that huge informal network of mothers of sick children that exists throughout the USA? Have you asked the mother of the child you still have 8 hours with about networking for you? Have you asked the Regional Center for help finding a client - they are always contacting me saying they have more clients than nurses in SoCal.

    Just keep on keeping on and please take heart and do not give up. This too shall pass and you will regain your former position, and with a little wisdom gained too. Good Luck.
  5. by   nightingale
    Originally posted by JNJ
    Nursebailey:
    Please do not give up - the nursing world is so very much in need of independent nurses. This cycle will change and you will be back in business again. Read the reply you have already had carefully - it was full of great ideas.

    Get a basic business card printed with something simple after your name such as "Amanda Bailey Licensed Practical Nurse (LVN) - experienced in the care of your loved ones at home.

    Call for free in-home consultation. References available"

    HIPAA does not mean you cannot advertise.

    And please do not complain about a mother being paid to look after her sick child. We do not make ourselves more or better by standing on someone else. This mother must be entitled to these care $. By all means fight for what you want/need, but not by putting someone else down.

    I practice in a similar line of work to yourself. I mainly work with Medi-Cal patients at home. Have you tried contacting a senior supervisor type person at your State's Medicaid offices. They may be able to help you by giving your name to a patient needing more/different nurses.

    Also, as you have peds. experience, have you tried to get into that huge informal network of mothers of sick children that exists throughout the USA? Have you asked the mother of the child you still have 8 hours with about networking for you? Have you asked the Regional Center for help finding a client - they are always contacting me saying they have more clients than nurses in SoCal.

    Just keep on keeping on and please take heart and do not give up. This too shall pass and you will regain your former position, and with a little wisdom gained too. Good Luck.
    Great advice JNJ...
  6. by   hoolahan
    What about taking the hospital case managers out to lunch?? They will be a good source of referrals. Who do you make refrrals to? Give them your cards, and you take theirs.

    Agree w advertising in local little papers. Also, give a lecture to seniors in a senior center, offer free BP and blood sugar check, they LOVE getting their BP checked for free. The give out your cards to them, esp in the senior buildings. Go visit and check out the buzzer list to get buzzed into the building. Note how the partments are set-up, then you can mail fliers to Resident at the address, apt # whatever. Not suggesting you write down everyname, just so you can see are apts set up as 101-110 or 1-a 1-b etc...so you can mail to the residents.

    There is NO shame in supporting yourself if you don't have enough indpendent work, but don't give up your dream altogether. Keep plugging. Keep networking.
  7. by   nightingale
    Above all... DO NOT GIVE UP!
  8. by   Agnus
    Forgive me in advance for wagging my finger. Get the word failure out of your vocabulary.

    While Edison was working on the light bulb he did not says I failed again with each trial that did not work. He only said that he had not suceeded yet.

    If you think you have failed then I am sorry there is nothing anyone can do for you because you have failed.

    Most businesses fail because people give up.
    YOu may have run out of ideas right now. But you are smart enough to come here for more ideas. So I know you are smart enought to 86 that horrible word now, and forever.
  9. by   renerian
    How far out of your city did you venture? Maybe you can hit outskirts or other cities?

    I am hearing this from other nurses as well.

    renerian
  10. by   nightingale
    Great spin on the feedback Agnus... good advice....

    How is it going lately Bailey?
  11. by   nursebailey
    Thank You for all your replies.. I loved them. The day I wrote that depression, turn tail and run back to the nursing home crap, I received 5 new patients for home health. I have been doing this for almost a year now and it's wonderful. I will make about $70,000 this year alone.

    Good news part 2... I am in transition to opening my very own "special needs care center". I have contacted medicaid, carestar, blah..blah and the wheels are moving. I have a busniess partner I found through home health and we're in the process of getting a home rezoned.

    we plan on taking on 12 kids per day, 6am to 7pm, 5 days a week..We love home health but hate the smoke, perverts, bugs, lazy ppl letting us raise their kids and food that has actually gotten up and walked away..NASTY...

    We plan on hiring 2 nurses and 2 aides, law states 3 kids per nurse. We will have speech and pyhsical theraphy. A movie room filled with bean bags, lunches and dinners, snacks..you name it..How most nursing homes should be..

    the thing is..we are conflicted about billing.. how do we do it? group? Yeah, u think we would know this but it seems to be an insider secret. I also have a cousin who has 18 hrs a day available and I want to treat him as a pool agency would but also don't know how to bill for it. Heck, i could pay 2 nurses $20+ an hr and skim $7 an hr from the top like agencies do and pull in a grand or so a week on their work alone...any help here, my IP medical biller is clueless..said it couldn;t be done, but when asked how pool agencies do it, they got quite and ran away....

    Any who..this 12 kids per day will be in access of over $15 grand per week...plus..they get treated how they should be..any pointers...shoot em my way....thank you...Brenda
  12. by   indie
    I'm posting caution here, nursebailey. You are already talking about what you will earn this year . . .

    What you are seeming to be planning i.e. a day care center for medically fragile children is a huge undertaking; I know, my friend helps to manage one and with all her NP and people skills she needs a big team of people to keep within the regulations and satisfy the parents.

    Remember what happened last time you were an IC. My advice would be to consolidate the new situation you are in, both in terms of $, potential referrals, a business plan etc etc. Then look, slowly, to this huge new undertaking.

    Have you really researched the regs. pertaining to this? I know how complicated it is in SoCal and I worry about you a little.
  13. by   ejm99
    I kinda feel like I'm one of the only ones that thinks it's GREAT that the HH will pay the mother of the 8yr old to care for her during certain times...


    I don't know the situation and won't pretend to...but if that were MY kid...you bet your butt I would WANT to be there whether being paid or not...and I bet that $$ really helps that family out....w/out it I bet (total assumption) that she would have to work...leaving her child in someone elses hands all day....and if she's sick enough to have HH...(again I know NOTHING...lol) but I personally would want to be there....

    but I DO understand your frustration...
    perhaps begin a Home Health agency of your own...make it as professional as you can...broshures etc...
    drop them at every hospital, dr's office and even SUPPORT GROUP meetings that you can....

    word of mouth is a huge factor as well....let the parents of the man that just passed know that your looking for another position and that if they could pass the word to his previous dr's etc that would REALLY be wonderful for you...

    I think it's amazzing what a "oh she was a GOD SEND to us, absolutely the best and is looking for another assignment" passed to the right person can do.

    GL!
  14. by   SweetOceanBlue
    everyone, by reading the posts, it truly touched my "heart" because before i becamse disabled, i worked in various hospitals, & also did "in home care. i totally commend you nurses who are & have started your own buisness. i'm very concerned about my grandmother who's in her 90's, and the caretaker she has is one of her chidren, which is sad, but true...my reason for stating this is because my grandmother isn't recieving the "adequate" care that she should, and i've addressed this with the dept. of social services, along with her children. it's very upsetting too me, & i wish there was something else i can do to make her "living situation" better. sadly, i reside in la county, but not close enough to where my grandma resides, fresno, ca. if any nurses here can offer me some advice on some "resources" i would greatly "appreciate" it. "...[/u] it's such a blessing for those of you nurses who've taken that step to build your own buisness at home, yes, i realize that it's hard work, in a facility setting & or home setting.. before i became disabled i worked in the health field myself, certainly it's alot of work, but very "rewarding" in the end...
    thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. have a beautiful day everyone.

    sincerely,
    sweetoceanblue
    Last edit by nightingale on Jul 20, '04

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