Preparing for home care / home health

  1. I was reading up on home health nursing and I can't help but think that it's for me! I've read many blogs that say your car should be your office and your supply closet! I'm wondering how I can organize my car to prepare for this. What kinds of supplies should I have in my trunk? Would the HH agency provide these supplies ? Does anyone have organization tips ? I've googled these questions and it seems like no one has gone into detail about this. I'd like to know !

    thanks in advance
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    About Leyblayymarie

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    7 Comments

  3. by   Elfriede
    What you have - or have to have - in your car depends on the HH agency and the patients.
    Other question: Do you have to use your own car or one of company?
    Anyway - Let´s have a look in my car. Uuuupppss, it´s winter. Door lock frozen.
    The defroster is in my pocket and not in the car. So no problem.
    On the center console we see a friendly bottle with 70%.
    I don´t like to carry germs (home).
    In my small bag, I have the "today medikation" for my pt, BS- and RR- machine, emerency-phonelist and a small 70%.
    In my big bag, I have medical dressings, probes and catheters, a small surgical cutlery and another 70%.
    In my trunk, I find a welldosed car-care-set - incl. a folding spate - and an extensive selection of incontinence articles to advice my pt ------- or use it directly.
    Ey !!! Don´t worry !
    You´ll get a training. You can ask your colleages.
    Your new boss is surely no intrested that you fail.

    Good luck, Frieda
  4. by   BBP42
    My agency provides a large plastic bin when you are hired, stocked with an assortment of supplies: foley kit, staple removal kit, PPE, tons of wound care supplies, boxes of gloves, a little of everything. As we use it we have to request replacements for the pricy things and the cheap/frequently used things are stocked in the office. They also provide a large bag stocked with thermometer, stethoscope, BP cuff, pulse ox, scissors, tape measure, sanitizer, alcohol wipes etc that we carry into the home. They gave us a nice backpack to carry our laptop and common forms we use as well. Some of the nurses I work with have purchased a second bin to stock extra supplies and educational materials. I keep the big bins in the back of my SUV because I do not need those supplies often, usually they are already in the home when I go. I keep the car as clean and empty as possible so I can quickly get what I need. I use my center console to store more sanitizer and sometimes granola bars etc so I can eat on the go because the day can get unpredictably busy. It often crosses my mind that an extra set of scrubs might save the day sometime but I have not got around to adding that. But none of this was done in advance because I did not spend my own money on any of it. If you think you would like home health, call a local agency and ask if you could ride along with a nurse for the day to see if it is for you. They might agree to it. I did it as a student and before being hired for the job I have now.
  5. by   OldDude
    My wife, Sweet Petunia (SP), is a HH PT for about 20 years. She loves it and wouldn't work anywhere else in her field. I tried it and hated it and ran away as fast as I could after a few months. So based on my "experience" with her I have a few things for you to consider.

    If you drive your own car you can reduce your salary by the amount it costs you to replace it sooner than you would otherwise; as well as the concurrent maintenance. We just replaced her 2 year old car at 126,000 miles. People are terrible drivers, and crazy, and the weather is unpredictable, so you must be a defensive driver and let the road rage roll off your back.

    Electronic Medical Records are not user friendly in Home Health and she frequently puts in several hours at home after work completing her documentation.

    Agencies seldom provide training for your personal safety. Many patients have guns and other weapons in the home, some laying on the coffee table, and many patients take mind altering medications so determine what your agency's policy about that is ahead of time.

    Also, determine what the agency policy for animals is. Not only in the home but in the yard. SP has been bitten several times by patient's dogs and cats; some of which required medical attention and tetanus updates. On one occasion she was bitten by a dog outside the house that couldn't be identified by animal control and she had to receive the entire rabies series of injections. She was once chased to her car by a patient's "pet" javelina and frequently has to deal with aggressive animals in the neighborhoods. SP's boss, with similar years of HH experience, was attacked in the home by a patient's pit bull and was taken by ambulance to the ER with multiple lacerations requiring multiple sutures; she was off work for 2 months and never returned to home health care due loss of motor control from nerve damage in one of her arms - plus the emotional trauma of the near death experience.

    So, not to post this to discourage you but more to help you prepare your for the new experience. Like I say, SP, loves it and will not consider anything else.

    Good Luck!!
  6. by   BBP42
    Wow OldDude! Your wife has a tough work environment. My agency has a policy that guns and pets must be safely locked up or we will not enter the home. If people do not like those rules, we do not take them on. I do love home health, it has its good and bad like every job but I love being able to give my full attention to one person at a time. It feels so relaxing (coming from a SNF environment).
  7. by   Libby1987
    All of my injuries were avoidable with planning. I just got so desensitized and comfortable after so many years in it that I got careless.

    I learned respect for dogs and icy/snow covered roads.

    One of the most impactful measures I took was outfitting my trunk with a storage container set up out of my pocket. Worth every but if the $70 I paid. I worked for years with a giant tub and zip locks provided by the company. When I finally made the planning and minors financial investment I wondered why I didn't do it years ago.
  8. by   Elfriede
    Hi Libby !

    The container set is a good idea. The zip locks and bags wear out within a year, and the company has to buy them again. I´ll talk with my boss. --- You deducted the set from the tax ?!?

    Y´s Frieda
  9. by   Libby1987
    Quote from Elfriede
    Hi Libby !

    The container set is a good idea. The zip locks and bags wear out within a year, and the company has to buy them again. I´ll talk with my boss. --- You deducted the set from the tax ?!?

    Y´s Frieda
    I didn't deduct it, I suppose I could have. It was about the equivalent of one visit and I'm not good about receipts.

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