If my goal is Home Health, where should I do preceptorship?

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    I would like to pursue a career in Home Health. However, most institutions require 1-2 years of experience prior to working in this field (HH). For preceptorship, I may choose to work in the ICU (medical or surgical) or med-surg unit. Which would you recommend? Upon passing NCLEX, where should i seek to gain my 1-2 years of experience? I'm leaning toward a nursing home (because I prefer this atmosphere), but am wondering if there a particular area that would make my resume look good to a Home Health Agency? Thanks.
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I'd choose med-surg. Many patients on the med-surg floor will be discharged home with home health services. So, in the hospital, you'll basically be performing the same skills as the home care nurse would be: wound care, diabetic monitoring, care of drains/tubes, IV antibiotics, lots of teaching, etc. The experience you'll have on med-surg are more similar to home health than the experience in the ICU (ventilators, drips, sedated patients, etc.)

    Likewise, med-surg would also be a good place to work as an RN in order to get experience for HH.

    My other suggestion would be an inpatient rehab unit.
  4. 0
    If your options are critical care or med-surg, med surg will give you a reasonably well rounded background for the types of patients and teaching opportunities you will encounter in a home health environment. it is ,generally, a good solid baseline experience that you can build on in the future, especially if you change your mind about home health and want to branch into another specialty such as oncology or rehab nursing.
  5. 0
    What kind of home health are you interested in? If you want private duty, there you'll see a lot of chronic vents and the agency would want vent experience. When I worked in the hospital, vented patients were only in the ICU.

    If you want the VNA side of home health, I'd go with med-surg.
  6. 0
    I totally agree with Med/Surg if you want to do HH with intermittant visits.
  7. 0
    Med surg will give you a well rounded experience base for home health.
  8. 0
    One more question...if the choice were between telemetry and med-surg, is one better than the other in terms of HH (VNA) being the goal? I really enjoyed the telemetry rotation and it seemed to me that telemetry patients tended to have a broad range of medical problems going on as well.
  9. 0
    I started in HH straight after graduating. A lot of HH agencies will take a new grad and have seen the light with regard to having a tailored new grad programs. I went to Loving Care Agency that has its own training, skill lab, and skills checkoffs for staff and what they call a new grad program. The work is that HH will grow 33% over the next period, while hospital work sill only grow 17%. (Physicians office nurses will incraese 48%) (http://news.nurse.com/article/201009...5/-1/frontpage) So good choice. But be aware of the difference between Home health and home visits.

    Home health you go to a persons home for many hours and watch them. With HH I mostly sat and watched Cerebral Palsy kids and gave them 1 G-Tube feeding in a 6 hour period.

    Home visits, you visit the client for an hour and perform a nursing skill: wound care, IV, medisets, then leave. With HV, you often have a personal laptop and complete OASIS documentation. I found it way more fullfilling than HH.
    Last edit by frodo-dog on Jul 21, '12 : Reason: Correct statistics quoted


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