saw this subject in the general discussion but am especially curious as to what other home heath nurses do b/c personally, i'm almost never able to schedule a "real" lunch break and don't even get me started on the overtime- drowning under all that paperwork, coc'ing....but work policy requires supervisor to ok ot and need to state why each and every time and even if i ask for 30 or 1 hr it never really seems to be enough to get it ALL done.
so besides a little venting, are the other home health nurses out there making sure there're getting paid for missed lunches and ot?
Oct 11, '02
Dear after 01,
The reason I left a loved job, wonderful patients, and the freedom of home health nursing is - YOU NEVER GET PAID FOR THE WORK YOU DO! I grew tired of 2-4 hours of paperwork every night - unpaid - I was a care coordinator and an admit nurse - did all the OASIS. I decided I would no longer work for free. The agency would not budge so I moved into an out patient IV setting that does some home visits. My personal opinion is every employee should document real time - patient care, driving, lunch, paperwork - and only at that time would there begin to be enough data to prove the amount of time a home care employee works. My experience is - everyone will not do a time study. Good Luck - frankie
Oct 11, '02
oh crap thats what i thought, i've only been doing this for just a year plus and rationalized nearly a year of unpaid ot as part of my learning curve but the more i speak w/co-workers- many are doing ot regularly w/o demanding pay...- the more i realize that though i love what i do, i'm well on my way to burn out/increasing resentment at this rate and planning on looking into hospitals. anyways, thanks for the reply, after.
Oct 12, '02
Our agency pays us double time for OT, but we're still sick of doing it. Home care is not what it's cracked up to be. To keep up with the paper work, a nurse needs to work OT. We are unionized, but still have to battle for every benefit. I'm going to look into something else. I have become bitter and burnt out. I love the patients, but the work required is impossible.
Oct 12, '02
Hi - don't give up on home nursing. I work in an out patient IV clinic - we do some home visits, some clinic work, some hospital teaching for patients going home on IV therapy, and quite a bit more. You might try infusion therapy home care. It pays well - the travel distance is usually farther than regular home care, but you are paid. There is more call but again, you are paid. This experience will add to skills. Today I was not on call, but I did 2 home visits on 1 patient. couldn't see her yest. - late platlet infusion in clinic - anyway, i changed a CVL dressing, TPA ed one of the 2 lumens this am, and this pm i withdrew TPA, checked blood return, flushed and came home - I worked about 1 - 1.5 hours. The pay will be greater than 200.00 for today. not bad. frankie
Oct 13, '02
I am so glad to hear it is not just me having a problem with no lunch, breaks, and having to spend afterhours doing the paperwork necessary to document the care given in the home. i recently switched to homecare from the hospital setting, and I thought it was a "learning curve" too. I have been told by several nurses who are experienced in the field that it is a good 6 months to a year before you are really good at the home care field, and the paperwork "gets easier". Well, I am 3 months into it now and I am still not getting lunch or breaks, and I spend at least 2 hours every evening writing and faxing to Mds. I did get a fax machine to help avoid the 20 mile trek back to the office at the end of the day- I stop by there when I am in the area during the day, but at the end of the day I pick up my kids and finish the paperwork at home and fax the updates to the offices from home. I think it would be better if there was a more organized way of assigning the patients so we would not have to drive so much between visits- Thank goodness for drive through dining!:imbar :imbar
Oct 14, '02
FRANKIE, I WANT TO WORK WHERE YOU WORK. I USED TO WORK FOR AN EXCLUSIVELY HOME INFUSION COMPANY AND GOT PAID WELL, BUT LIVING IN A RURAL AREA, IT DID NOT KEEP ME BUSY ENOUGH. NOW THE HOME INFUSION COMPANIES CONTRACT WITH OUR AGENCY AND DO NOT SEND THEIR OWN NURSES OUT. THE OP CLINIC SOUNDS WONDERFUL.
Oct 14, '02
ISEARL - Frankie here. Sorry you lost you home infusion job. It is really a great job - most of the time. I have to say, this clinic thing is nice. The first six months were difficult - alot of hospital changes. I wanted to leave. But then - things got real good. We have great patients, excellent RNs, good pharmacy techs. It is unusual working for pharmacy - but...I have seen stranger things in my time. I do not think there are many infusion suites not run by nursing depts. We have alot of autonomy, but we also have tremendous responsibility and accountability. We all best know of what we speak, because the PharmD will ask - where did you get your info, and don't say the drug company? So..if you like researching new stuff, variety, good pay, some on-call, a few home visits- we have a 0.6 FTE now! frankie
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