How Safe Is HH?

  1. Im applying for a HH job at this time and one question I ponder is safety in other peoples homes and neighborhoods. How safe is it. Do you ever have fear?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   hunybby
    HH is probably safer than most large institutions. A definite reduction of exposure to the many different "bugs" floating around in a hospital or LTC facility. Probably the least stressful kind of nursing out there, and the money's not too bad either. Now if your HH pt. has family or friends who happen to be thugs..........
  4. by   futureRN2006
    I work in home health and visit lots of homes from the upscale to the poverty striken communities. Most agencies get a feel of the neighborhood and the family b4 sending people out there to work. My biggest fear was at a home where they had mice...YUCK!! But they took care of that pretty quickly. You just have to use the same commonsense approach that you would use in your day to day. My agency has had no reports of violence.
  5. by   CapeCodMermaid
    I have only been doing HH for a short amount of time. Scariest thing I've seen is a big ugly dog. Some people's houses are really dirty but I've never felt threatened. I worked for years in long term care and at times I did feel threatened by wacky family members. I had to call the police once because a former patient(young) came back with a bat and demanded drugs. My patients now are so happy to see me I can't imagine any of them or their families trying to hurt me.
  6. by   caliotter3
    I've had bad experiences more than once as a direct result of working in home health. My employer's response has been to disparage me, belittle my complaints, and ensure that the employer-employee relationship did not continue. I was made to feel that as the victim, I was the problem, not the perpetrators. Free ride there. Typical female rape victim behavior. A good employer will not treat it's nurses in this manner. I highly suggest that you become aware of the possible hazards, learn how to protect yourself and how to take precautions, and be ready to seek other employment when you recover, should you become a victim. You can not rely on your employer to do the right thing by you. It helps if you have a significant other or family members who care about you in case you find yourself in a position where you need some help. Law enforcement will not help. You are essentially on your own.
  7. by   cisco
    Urban home health can be a little bit riskier than rural home health. You can utilize your local police department...asking them about unfamiliar neighborhoods prior to going there...also asking for an escort if the situation seems unsafe. Always, communicate with your supervisors/admin and document everything. Bottom line, if you feel unsafe, don't go...call 911 or request family to go to urgent care or other public place and meet them there.
  8. by   rncali
    wow cali, may I ask what state that happened to you in and do you still work in home health , if so why.

    thank you everyone for answering my post. I haven't been hired yet but applied and had an interview. Im just a little worried about the potential hazards that could be involved. I guess Im a worrier. I was working in a hospital in the OR for several years and had been off for two. Now Im trying to find something thats more lowkeyed , less stressful and have more freedom. I like the idea of making ones own schedule. I also want to get back to the roots of patient care as all my patients were basically asleep in the past lol..
  9. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from rncali
    Im applying for a HH job at this time and one question I ponder is safety in other peoples homes and neighborhoods. How safe is it. Do you ever have fear?
    In the past year and a half I have refused one visit. I went to the home and felt real uneasy about going in so I didn't. Turns out they had already been turned into adult protective services and the patient was taken out of the home and placed in assisted living.

    I have seen some really nasty houses. I don't mean clutter, I mean nasty. I have been in homes that were so cluttered you could hardly walk, just little pathways in between clutter. That doesn't bother me in the least but when you can smell nasty that is when I call APS. In the case of the last one I reported, that patient was also removed from the home. I haven't ever felt physically threatened. I always call ahead of time and I ask front door? back door? dog? etc....most patients are very considerate.

    I have been told by the agency, if I don't feel right about it, don't go in, or don't even knock on the door. It's only happened once but they stood by me 100%. If they hadn't I would have quit.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Mar 31, '07
  10. by   traumaRUs
    I did home health in Indy for a short while in the early 90's as an LPN while in school for my RN. Only once didn't feel safe - inner city with teen cleaning a gun on the couch while I went about my visit. Left there very quickly and refused to go back - agency didn't require it and indeed cancelled them.

    Otherwise, I would always adhere to your inner voice - if you feel weird, then don't go.

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