Entry into home health nursing

  1. Hi!

    I am interested in getting into home health nursing; would long term care experience in an assisted living facility or a nursing home be beneficial? My experience is primarily in Postpartum, with some L&D and Public Health mixed in. I think med/surg would probably be the best preparation, but I really don't want to continue the 12 hour shifts ( I have 2 small children, and am trying to make them a priority right now too ).

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   BBP42
    I responded to your other post, but this one is a little different, and I wanted to add that my agency found experience in a SNF/rehab facility to be important background, as you would be dealing with patients just discharged following surgery just like in home health. If the facility was only LTC/assisted living with no short term rehab they would probably find the experience less relevant to their needs.
  4. by   jodispamodi
    Any experience is beneficial, just be prepared for a huge variety of patients, when I did home health my patients ran the gamut from very simple post op joint replacements to patient that had LVAD, unstable CHF, COPD, major dressing changes, wound vac changes, to cancer, dialysis, and IV abx patients to just checking and calling in INR's. If you don't have alot of med/surg experience I'd suggest getting a good med/surg textbook and using it as a reference, my other advice would be to absolutely never do anything you haven't done before without someone orientating you to it at least once. Home health care is very rewarding, I enjoy it but it is a completely different ball game then hospital or facility work. I think the most important thing is to have excellent assessment and critical thinking skills. I had patients I saw on monday who were fine, then on weds visit looked like crap (and some of them will absolutely not call you or the doctor) so you have to be able to assess what requires 911, what requires a call to the doc and what requires educating them. Good luck.
  5. by   Wlaurie
    There are 2 types of home heathcare. One you visit many people in a day the other you have one patient and work shifts. I work with one patient. Here are what I think are the advantages over the other: less driving, less paperwork, you work your shift and you're done, job stability bc the patient will generally be a type that is permanently disabled as opposed to a post op that gets better, flexible time (if you don't like that schedule you can switch to another client). Most of these patients are vent/trach which helps to have some experience. I have worked both ltc and home health and I think home health is much better with the pay being about the same. However I just got a 2 dollar raise when I switched agencies. Best part about being family oriented you don't have to work holidays, at least all of this has been my experience with home health.
  6. by   OyWithThePoodles
    School nursing is always a great option when you have littles
  7. by   Hhd77
    Thank you for your response!
  8. by   Libby1987
    Some home health agencies offer mother/baby services as well as high risk pregnancies.
  9. by   LilyRN99
    I worked LTC before switching to home care (one patient and shift per day) . They seem happy to accept any nurse with at least one year of any kind of experience. You have to pass a written test and feel comfortable to work alone with a patient.

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