new to home health-do you like it?

  1. I was just offered a job in home health- I'm going to accept but I have some questions.
    Do you like it?
    What do you not like about it?
    How is the pay?
    How hard is it to get time off?
    The place I'm going to work for pays by the visit and leaves it up to the rn to decide how many pts they can handle.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Babette777
    Originally posted by Jeanbean:
    I was just offered a job in home health- I'm going to accept but I have some questions.
    Hi JeanBean! I've been doing homehealth for a few months in Australia and here are the awnsers to your questions.
    Do you like it?
    Well, yes and no. I do homehealth for war veterans, i.e. older people. The patients I have on my regular runs do not need very specialiized care. The care I give mostly revolves around bathing, preparing or giving meds, dressing changes and wound evaluations. I am also required to prepare meals on occasion. I do not find it very exciting and I am looking for another job at the moment. The thing I like most about it is that you are indepedent... you don't have anybody breathing down your neck or nasty docs to deal with.... that also means that you have to be confident in your nursing abilities and be ready to deal with some stressful situations on you own. Some people like that some can't live with that added pressure!
    What do you not like about it?
    See above comment.
    How is the pay?

    I am paid by the visit also. My wage is 21$ an hour.... which is not bad but not that great either, especially when your factor the cost of gas and wear on your car. In Autralia you can keep a log book and claim your mileage on your tax return. Another thing that I fing a bit uncool is not being paid for the time I spend travelling to and from my patients.... The region that I serve is quite large and I can spend between an hour and 11/2 hours driving while I am doing my regular run... I feel that the wages should be adjusted to reflect your average travelling time. Anyway...

    How hard is it to get time off?

    It will probably depend on the staffing and the poolicies of your service.

    In short I think that homecare is not for every nurse....I have found out that it is not for me but I know many nurses who are very happy doing it. I wish you must success in your new job and hope you happy with it!

  4. by   DIDI
    first yes I like home-care, Where I work we are reg. hosp. employes, so time off is given if staffing allows, with 2wks notice. I work one sat. a month, One week-end every two mo. We are not paid by the visit for most work, paid by the hour. Your day starts at the office and you go on the clock then, if you see your first pt. directly from home time starts after 15min of travel, your paid mileage after first 15miles or any after 30miles for the day if you don't go to office. LPNs make 12to16 RNs 13 to 18, if you are case manager pay is a little better but not worth headaches! It's a good field for a nurse with confidence, Good-luck.if you have more questions e-mail me.
  5. by   schuchscs
    Originally posted by Jeanbean:
    I was just offered a job in home health- I'm going to accept but I have some questions.
    Do you like it?I just started home health nursing a short while ago, and I really like it. I am able to really spend uninterrupted quality time with my patient and their family wich is often what patients and family need during the stressful times of illness and injury.
    What do you not like about it? The uncompensated hours spent driving between visits. How is the pay?Not as good as hospital nursing (my only available comparison) How hard is it to get time off?I am not sure, I work perdiem.
    The place I'm going to work for pays by the visit and leaves it up to the rn to decide how many pts they can handle.
  6. by   funsunsue
    In my area we are hospital employees. New Hampshire. My pay is 17.50 an hour and 20.50 an hour on weekends. mileage is .35 a mile. In eight hours you are supposed to see 6 points. an admission is 2 points and a revisit is one point. so in one day you could be required to see 6 patients or two admissions and 2 revisits.( this is top case load and you would take quite a while to work up to this.) I find management staff and other nurses very helpful as you continue to grow and learn until everything clicks. (and it will click).
    Home health is totally different from hospital or rehab nursing and it is much more rewarding. We do not do bathing and meal prep. there are home health aides and homemakers for that. if a patient needs meal prep or bathing done, the appropriate referrals should be made to home health or social services. GOOD LUCK!
  7. by   monica f
    I do like home health? Yes and No I work for an agency not a hospital. I can take off whenever I please. The good thing about agency work is you are not obligated to take work, BUT they are not obligated to give you work either. The pay is good $13.00 - $17.00 for LPN's and around $18.00 for RN's. Some times there are really really slow periods you may not be called to work for a week or more, but then there are times you have more patientes than you ever could have wanted. This can ba a problem for someone that has to have a set income.
    I deal with pediatric patients. I LOVE working with the kids, but you have to remember a lot of the children you will see are foster kids or have been adopted. I'm not sure why this is. About 60-80% of the kids I see, there is some kind of abuse in the home. This is really hard to deal with as a nurse and you have no real way to help these kids except to turn in your observations to the child protection agency. The better majority of the time these kids are left in the home and the parents are "watched."

    Something you might check into is there are visit cases and then there are cases that required any where from 18-24 hours a day of nursing care. In the homes where you have round the clock care you can get 8 or 12 hour shifts. I really like these cases(espically if you get a good home.) You get to see these patient grow and change. It can be very rewarding and for the most part parents and family member are VERY grateful that you are there to help.

  8. by   Rebecca Braune
    JeanBean, Are you still gathering opinions about home health nursing? I've got one more. I've done a lot of different types of nursing, from O.B. to O.R. Tele, ICU, etc.,etc. But 12 years ago I discovered a whole new world in home health. What I have grown to love about home health is that miraculously the pt's change from the "COPDer" in room 222 to Mr.Jones, accountant, war hero, grandfather. You are a guest in their home and they feel more in control. When my pts. get admitted to a hospital I get really protective and want to make sure the drs. and nurses have all the necessary information to give my patient the best possible care. Not to mention I love the freedom of running to and fro and not being cooped up in a hospital. I make $19/hr. and get .28/mile, and I also do hospital home health with all the benefits. You can't beat that with stick! Good luck Jean! Becky RN

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  9. by   Jay-Jay
    Originally posted by funsunsue:
    In my area we are hospital employees. New Hampshire. My pay is 17.50 an hour and 20.50 an hour on weekends. mileage is .35 a mile. In eight hours you are supposed to see 6 points. an admission is 2 points and a revisit is one point. so in one day you could be required to see 6 patients or two admissions and 2 revisits.( this is top case load and you would take quite a while to work up to this.) I find management staff and other nurses very helpful as you continue to grow and learn until everything clicks. (and it will click).
    Home health is totally different from hospital or rehab nursing and it is much more rewarding. We do not do bathing and meal prep. there are home health aides and homemakers for that. if a patient needs meal prep or bathing done, the appropriate referrals should be made to home health or social services. GOOD LUCK!
  10. by   Jay-Jay
    Reply to Sunfunsue:

    You only work a maximum of six points in a day?? Wow! I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I work for a home health company in Ontario, and have done as many as 3 admissions in one day, in addition to seeing my regular caseload of 6 to 8 people.

    Tomorrow, I have 10 people scheduled to see, and 11 for the weekend, one of which is a TID I.V. call (I'll share her with the nurse covering evenings.)

    Granted, we have our slow periods, and you can refuse assignments, but generally, six visits a day...heck, that's a breeze! I'd actually have time to eat my lunch sitting down somewhere instead of wolfing it behind the wheel of my car, while driving between patients! Where can I sign up?
  11. by   nightstar41
    WOW! 6 patients a day?? I work for home health in Canada and the caseload varies based on the needs. I can have up to 6 to 8 patients a day includind new admit and I cover a large area. I work part-time and have a regular schedule where you see whomever needs to be seen that day. I get paid by the hours, including from the time I start work and leave the office. This hourly wage includes everything else that needs to be done such as paper work, telephone call, travel time, liason rtc. I also get paid kilometers for my travel. I love home nursing! I have worked in the hospital for many years and have been doing home care for 12 years. I would never go back to a hospital. I work independently, have great rapport with the doctors and feel valued. I can use my own judgement and plan my own day. I also love the opportunity to treat the whole person compared to just the physical aspect of the disease process. I know my patients and trust is built. home care also involves dealing with family members and sometimes that can be a challenge but on most days, I come home feeling good about what I do. I would not trade my job for anything else. Palliative patients can be emotionally hard but they have taught me so much about life and living. Go for it! Nightstar

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    nightstar
  12. by   nightstar41
    WOW! 6 patients a day?? I work for home health in Canada and the caseload varies based on the needs. I can have up to 6 to 8 patients a day includind new admit and I cover a large area. I work part-time and have a regular schedule where you see whomever needs to be seen that day. I get paid by the hours, including from the time I start work and leave the office. This hourly wage includes everything else that needs to be done such as paper work, telephone call, travel time, liason rtc. I also get paid kilometers for my travel. I love home nursing! I have worked in the hospital for many years and have been doing home care for 12 years. I would never go back to a hospital. I work independently, have great rapport with the doctors and feel valued. I can use my own judgement and plan my own day. I also love the opportunity to treat the whole person compared to just the physical aspect of the disease process. I know my patients and trust is built. home care also involves dealing with family members and sometimes that can be a challenge but on most days, I come home feeling good about what I do. I would not trade my job for anything else. Palliative patients can be emotionally hard but they have taught me so much about life and living. Go for it! Nightstar

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    nightstar
  13. by   Jay-Jay
    In my earlier reply, I forgot to say anything about the upside of home nursing. I love the independence, being able to advocate for the patient, having doctors say, "Okay, I trust your judgement, let's do what you suggest." (Wouldn't most hospital nurses love to hear those words!) I also love that the patient has more control, and can be treated in familiar surroundings. I think it's great that we're able to allow a patient to die at home, if that's what they want. I also enjoy constantly learning new things: new procedures, encountering new diseases and situations. We're like G.P.'s in that regard - we nurse them from the cradle to the grave. My first call of the day might be a 6 month old with asthma, my next an 86 year old dying of cancer. I've always loved variety, and this is one job where I'll rarely ever be bored.

    The downside is the lousy pay, much less than hospital nurses in this area - $18-19 an hour, whereas hospital nurses start at about $22.00 an hour. I also get paid per visit only, and don't get any compensation for travel time (though I do get mileage.) I would like to know what company Nightstar works for --- would you mind telling me? Sounds like you've got a great deal there! The company I work for is non-profit, which is probably why we aren't paid as well as some of the others. The bright side of that is because we started out as a Christian organization, I'm not afraid to offer to pray with my patients, if I think they need the spiritual help.
  14. by   HHnurse
    I love home care and fell we get paid pretty well, 25$ per visit. 36 for an admit. I work parttime and find it's prefect to allow me to have time with my family. our full time productivity is 32 visit a week.


    admits count the same a a revisit but I don't think they'd ever dared to try to give a nurse more than 1 admit in a day but they will give you 1 admit, a oasis recert and a discharge along with 4 revisits

    Beth RN

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