Do HH agencies typically ask for pre- employment physicals or physical agility tests?
I've never been asked for a pre-employment physical. It's only after I've interviewed and accepted a position that the agency will arrange and pay for a physical.
As far as agility, the agencies I've worked for had me go to a physical therapy office and I had to bend, squat and then lift an object that weighed 25 lbs placing it on a shelf.
I've had to have a physical for some nursing jobs, but they were a joke. They've included a very very brief exam and a drug screen. I've had multiple back surgeries which I have put on the physical form but not one of the examiners have even asked about it. I am also in a pain management program and take Percocet daily. But I have always passed the drug test, no questions asked.
For one, they had evaluated proper body mechanics, including lifting at 25 lbs, transferring pts (the evaluator was my pt) and hoyer lift transfer (this "person" was a mannequin). Others, no so much, like the other PPs described.
Interesting. Im going into home health because Im hoping I can get away from constant walking. All these job descripts talk about being able to lift 50-75#. A HH nurse I know said she never needs to lift other than her nurse bag. I come from a hosp with a no lift policy and all these fancy lift devices. I refuse to lift more than 30-35 lbs by myself. ..let alone go to an fit exam and be expected to demonstrate lifting 50# . Honestly. ..I dont know if I can. And I sure aint gonna try. It astounds me that they would even ask! Am I destined for a desk job? Im passionate about direct patient care
Generally, you don't do much lifting in home health. Occasionally, I have demonstrated proper transfer techniques for a patient's family, but only because PT wasn't seeing the patient until the next day.
The one thing you should expect to do that is hard on your back is wound care. The home environment is not like the hospital where you can adjust the hospital bed for your comfort. Some patient's refuse a hospital bed and you end up doing wound care (including wound vacs) in very awkward positions. I've had to squeeze between the wall and the bed and then bend over the patient to perform care. You know how long wound vacs can take to place so, no surprise that my back is killing me by the time I'm done.