ICU nurse to Home Health?

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    I have been in the Medical ICU for five years now. I have five children and am starting to wonder if I should move into home health so I can have more time with the kids and not miss their after school games, etc. My youngest will start kindergarten and I will not have anyone to pick up the kids from school, let alone stay with them until my husband gets off at 5. I absolutly love my job right now and am worried about leaving. I love the critical thinking, the rush during critical moments. I just wanted to get input...
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    Quote from lbktexnurse
    I have been in the Medical ICU for five years now. I have five children and am starting to wonder if I should move into home health so I can have more time with the kids and not miss their after school games, etc. My youngest will start kindergarten and I will not have anyone to pick up the kids from school, let alone stay with them until my husband gets off at 5. I absolutly love my job right now and am worried about leaving. I love the critical thinking, the rush during critical moments. I just wanted to get input...
    It used to be pretty common to have a lot of flexibility in home health, but that's not always the case nowadays.

    In the past, I was able to rearrange my schedule to allow me to have a teacher conference or put a load of laundry in the washing machine. That was many years ago, things have changed.

    The agency I work for now expects all documentation to be completed by 5:00pm. It is a software program and they are able to see what time you started and what time you ended. I am very busy on the days I work and no longer have any time during the day for personal activities.

    Now, I do know that other nurses have posted they are able to pick up their kids, do laundry etc., but I really do think it depends on the agency you work for.
    toomuchbaloney likes this.
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    I went from working on an ICU to Home Care 4 yrs ago and it was the best decision I made. I have 4 children and am now able to have a lot more flexibility with my time. I really think it will depend heavily on where you work though. I've heard some bad stories on here but I'm really happy with home care. So much less stress- your calling EMS If you find someone who is unstable. Yes there's paperwork but you can do a lot of it at home. I pick up my kids from school every day and have missed little sports activities. I say definitely go for it. Good luck!
    heather.ccrn74 likes this.
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    You may be better off keeping a job you love and just decreasing your hours. If you enjoy the fast paced ICU and the camaraderie there you my find home health a bit lonely and slow. I solved that problem by doing both. I work 60 part time at the hospital and PD for a home infusion company. If you work PD in home health you generally have more of a say in your work schedule but you will have to do on call time as well. Do you have an after school program that your children can attend on days that you cannot pick them up?
    toomuchbaloney likes this.
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    Depending on the agency you work for, HH may be the right thing for you. Private duty is not the same as home health in my opinion.
    In medicare homehealth agencies you see "X" number of patients a day (the number varies depending on the agency, mine is 5-7). My agency expects visits to be completed within 24 hours. My kids are older now, but in the past, I was able to schedule my visits around conferences, holiday programs etc. You do need to know that your day does not end with your last patient. You will most likely be doing charting and phone call after hours. When my kids were little I would make my calls prior to picking them up (follow ups and appointment for the next day etc). I would wait until after they went to bed to finish my charting, It worked for me. I have been in homecare for 22 years.
    heather.ccrn74 likes this.
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    Yes, and you may be required to do overnight call. The frequency varies depending on the agency(it may be once a week, or once a month). Overnight call generally is from 5pm to 8am and is in addition to your regular work schedule. You can troubleshoot the problems over the phone,but you may have to go out to see patients if unable to resolve the situation. Sometimes, you may have to admit a patient at night that wasn't seen during the day.

    Most agencies will also require weekend and holiday coverage. I have been in homecare since 1994 and have worked for several agencies over the years. These are questions you should ask if you find a homecare position you're interested in.

    Also, in my opinion it's better to find an agency that pays you an hourly rate than pay per visit.
    Last edit by AnnemRN on Jan 21, '13 : Reason: adding more information
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    New to this site and read your post, AnnemRN. Just curious, did you ever go into homecare? I am a critical care nurse as well and I am playing with the possibility of transitioning to HH.


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