I took a home health job after MUCH consideration. I previously worked in the ICU. I thought I had thoroughly weighed all the pros and cons, but unfortunately I greatly regret my decision. My days are LONG- 9 hours minimum. Admission charting will make you rethink your entire nursing career. I feel like all I do is work and sleep. My schedule constantly changes- I can look up all of my patients and then something happens and I have to look up new ones. This obviously adds to the length of your day. My territory is very large and my patients can be 20 minutes from eachother. Trying to fit in 5-6 patients a day, with driving time plus documentation-- it just cant be done in 8 hours (and I am a VERY organized person). I am also being frequently sent into the very bad sections of the city, though I live about 35 minutes away. I grew up in the country and unfortunately cant say I have any street smarts. It scares me just DRIVING down those streets, let alone finding a place to park, walking past the gang in front of my patients house, and going in. Talk about fear
. I also have some pretty creepy patients at times-- remember, you are in their house ALONE. I carry mace, but still..
These are just some of the things that I failed to consider, so I hope they are helpful to you. There are positive aspects to the job as well-- you can start your day at home, finish your documentation at home, truly see improvement in patients, develop a connection with patients and care about them, and it is the best paying job I have had to date. I guess you just need to consider whether you are ok with very long days, and possibly being sent into unsafe situations. I noticed you mentioned about travel nursing. Most likely the places you would be sent as a traveler would be the places no one else wants to go
. Just something to think about!
I wish you well with whatever you choose to do! If you do take the plunge, you can always get back into the hospital if you end up hating it (I am currently applying). Like you mentioned though, you may lose a hard to find position (for me that was dayshift in a very well run ICU).