Home Health vs Hospital nursing

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    I have been working as a med/surg nurse for 2 years now. I have recently been thinking of switching to home health care. From anyone that has done both, what do you like/not like about each. I'm afraid of regretting my decision if I make a change but have always been interested in home health care.
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    You can find plenty of input on this in the home health forum. Most people keep their hospital job, at least part time, and do their home health job for extra money. That way, you have access to both work environments.
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    I worked for 20 years in hospital nursing. I worked in PCU, CCU, Med/Surg, ER and also as charge nurse then manager of a unit for awhile. I then went to work part time for a home health agency, while I kept my job in the hospital. Made extra money and was able to see if I would like Home Health. I did and went full time home care, becoming a case manager. Remember when you are at a patients home you have NO backup. It's you and only you. You must hit the vein if starting an IV or drawing blood every time (can't call for help). You will find every conceivable problem out there and that patient depends on you to know what to do. Maybe you would develop more confidence if you would stay at the hospital a couple of more years and get some experience in ER as well as departments that handle hearts. Also there will be a lot of wound care. You will have to know every aspect, including how to use a wound vac. It really is more critical out there than in the hospital. You will see patients in old travel trailers to mansions. It's very interesting, but to be a case manager you usually need at least 5 years of hospital experience. Good luck. Isn't nursing just the best job in the world? How can anyone "burn out."
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    Moved to home health where you may get more replies
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    My experience has been 6 years in hospital floor nursing (med-surg and tele), about three years ago I wanted extra money but did ot want to work a full extra 12 hour shift so I went looking for home health. I got hired on as a RN case manager. This particular agency was owned by a RN and was fairly new, they ony had 2 offices in California. THe worst part about this job was that I would only get to see 1 or 3 pateint every 1-2 months and only start of care, Resumption of care, recerts, or discharges. The follow up were done a a LVN. I never learned much there but kept the job just becasue it was like not even a having a job. So then I rememebred that the girl who trained me for that agency told me that she worked for a few health agency so that she could make enough money for a full time job. Then I decided to go and find a another HH where I could acuually work more like once or twice week. To my luck I found a brand new agency that was a big corporation. I was doing 5 follows a day every time I worked! I was so happy. so I have been doing this since march of this year and they even offered me a full time position. To this day I havent been able to figure out how much I like HH.
    THE PROS
    no 12hr shifts! heck maybe not even an 8 hr shift
    I am on my own I see my patient when We agree to a time
    the pay is decent 6o dollar for follow ups and 100 for SOC recert, ect.
    can take a 2-3 hr lunch if i need to or go to target and appointment or whatever I need in between pts
    dont have to wake up at the but crack of dawn
    weekends, holidays off with some on call
    very low stress
    not very physical work at all, i probably could have worked all 9 months while i was pregnant with this job
    best part of the job is the freedom of it and the flexibility
    you can wear scrubs or street clothes with a lab coat

    THE CONS
    the driving and geting lost (it happens even with GPS)
    the weird family members/patients who freak you out (but you get this in acute care too)
    the scary homes and scary neighborhoods
    the charting can be teidious
    the fact that we really do have to make more of an effort to see these people even when they refuse to see us ( in the hospital if they refuse you just chart refused care) in HH that is just not done
    you have to work 5 days a week no more 3 on 4 off like in the hospital setting
    insurance at my particular HH company sucks
    i hate driving around on hot days and prefer to be in a building LOL
    using up gas and niles on my car.


    So after putting this all in writing I still can't make up my mind! HH or hospital?? which is better?


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