Safety- in HH vs. Hospital

  1. 0
    I know one of the greatest concerns of new HH nurses is safety. But how much riskier do you really think HH is compared to the hospital? I was listening to some friends who work in the hospital setting, and some of the stories were scarier than what I've experienced in HH, i.e., getting kicked in the head by a confused patient getting restrained, a manager getting beaten up by a very large agro patient, being threatened by gang members in the ED...also I remember myself getting swatted at, screamed at, spit at, and, yes, kicked by patients when I used to work in the hospital. Add to that with all the other hazards of hospitals (dangerous chemicals, machinery, small rooms, isolation patients, etc), how much riskier really, in total, is HH compared to in-patient acute/critical care, in terms of safety hazards to the nurse?The discussion just had me thinking of this issue in a different way..

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  2. 2
    I recently left the hospital that I worked at for 5 years, and I have to say I never really felt that safe! The detoxing patients that spit at you or attack you, confused people determined to get out of bed at any cost....no thanks! At least with home care, people want your help and are a little more appreciative.
    KelRN215 and SeaH20RN like this.
  3. 0
    Hospitals have security present, generally there are no police sitting around in their vehicles watching you park and walk to your client's home.
  4. 0
    The difference is that the HH nurse is alone with no support staff, co-workers, or hospital security to step in and help if things go bad. Sure, they can call 911, but it could be 10-20+ minutes before help arrives. If you're in a situation where your safety is threatened, that's a hell of a long time.
  5. 0
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    The difference is that the HH nurse is alone with no support staff, co-workers, or hospital security to step in and help if things go bad. Sure, they can call 911, but it could be 10-20+ minutes before help arrives. If you're in a situation where your safety is threatened, that's a hell of a long time.
    Or, you can call 911, and they don't come at all, after treating you as if you are bothering them. I've learned the hard way not to rely on law enforcement.
  6. 0
    Sorry, but in a case where a call to 911 is necessary, unless it's in the case of a patient medical emergency, I am out the door. I do not stick around 10-20 minutes, if for example, I hear gunshots or if I feel in any way threatened. I'll leave my equipment if I have to, but I will not stick around. That is exactly what our supervisors tell us to do, too-- just leave and call the office after you're in your car (and in a safer location).
  7. 2
    I also carry mace.
    I see patients in very bad neighborhoods. I work in a city that is consistently in the top 5-10 on the most dangerous cities list.
    Last edit by tinderbox on Jul 4, '12 : Reason: Added more info
    KelRN215 and SeaH20RN like this.
  8. 0
    I carry mace / pepper spray also. I also know karate. Never needed it. In the hospital I had a pt. with a gun, a knife, a gang fight in the hall all in the ER with security, they were around somewhere! I always take precautions in the pt. home but 95% of the time they are elderly! Just keep your eyes open and cell phone. Most people are happy your there to help them.


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