What are the benefits and disadvantages of home health nursing?

  1. 0
    I have worked in a hospital in a heart, lung, vascular pod for 3 years. I have 9 years of nursing experience. I have been thinking of taking a home healthcare job at another local hospital. I do not know anything about home healthcare. The reason I am interested is because the hours sound great. I have to young kids that both play sports and right now with my 12 hour shifts they have to miss a lot of practices and games because of me.

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  2. 7 Comments...

  3. 0
    Don't let anyone fool you - they will still miss practices and games. You need to investigate this very carefully. You will not be done by 2 o'clock every afternoon.

    Most of us take on-call, about once every 6-10 days, depending on how large your agency is. Do you enjoy being on your own?
    Lots of driving? Eating lunch in your car? Going into strangers' homes, sometimes in unsafe neighborhoods?

    But then - being a ray of hope and sunshine to the homebound! Providing care to those who cannot help themselves! Teaching people how to get better on their own! Using every brain cell to figure out ways to do things at home that were so easy in the hospital.

    Are your technical skills in the superior range? Blood draws, foley caths, wound-vacs - all in a days' work.
    Same with your assessment skills - was that little cough there last week? Is that wound bed 'soupy' today? What about that strange odor?

    Personally, I loved home health - every minute of every day.

    Best wishes!
  4. 0
    Home health part time, if you could handle it money wise, would be great! My favorite thing about home health is the one on one with patients and families with rare to no interruptions. I love for my patients to know that they have my full attention. I also love having solutions or resources for their problems.
  5. 0
    I'm in a similar situation as you! (Well, except without the kids.) I am at a point in my life where my circumstances require me to have flexibility with my work. I recently shadowed a HH nurse who works for a large company. Maybe you can look into doing that as well to give you a clearer picture of what HH nurses do. Today I spoke with a manager of a hospital-based HH agency. From what I can tell so far, there are pros and cons for each. I'm hoping I make the right decision.

    Good luck to you!
    Last edit by Palmetto_Nurse on Mar 4, '13 : Reason: Misspelling
  6. 1
    Pros: You get to be a nurse and do all the stuff that taught you in nursing school. You meet the patient, the family, the pets, and you get to know them. You have a real connection that may last days, months, weeks. I had one patient for 2 years. You see results. You see their wounds heal and their antibiotics work, but sometimes they don't and you cry with them. You do a lot of one on one teaching and you can change someones life by teaching them about how to manage their disease. You really treat the whole patient. You may be able to help with the patients living situation, depression, inability to pay for meds. You have time to be a detective. What could be causing that rash? Why is her hand swollen? If you like doing clinical stuff, you'll have plenty of that. Home care nurses can do nearly everything at home that nurses do in the hospital except give blood. You get to drive around the community in the sunshine but also the snow storms. I could go on and on...

    Cons: The paperwork is 50% of the job and you'll still have to work some weekends and holidays.
    TipitiwichitRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from paradiseboundRN
    Pros: You get to be a nurse and do all the stuff that taught you in nursing school. You meet the patient, the family, the pets, and you get to know them. You have a real connection that may last days, months, weeks. I had one patient for 2 years. You see results. You see their wounds heal and their antibiotics work, but sometimes they don't and you cry with them. You do a lot of one on one teaching and you can change someones life by teaching them about how to manage their disease. You really treat the whole patient. You may be able to help with the patients living situation, depression, inability to pay for meds. You have time to be a detective. What could be causing that rash? Why is her hand swollen? If you like doing clinical stuff, you'll have plenty of that. Home care nurses can do nearly everything at home that nurses do in the hospital except give blood. You get to drive around the community in the sunshine but also the snow storms. I could go on and on...

    Cons: The paperwork is 50% of the job and you'll still have to work some weekends and holidays.
    ^Well said!!!
  8. 0
    Quote from paradiseboundRN
    Pros: You get to be a nurse and do all the stuff that taught you in nursing school. You meet the patient, the family, the pets, and you get to know them. You have a real connection that may last days, months, weeks. I had one patient for 2 years. You see results. You see their wounds heal and their antibiotics work, but sometimes they don't and you cry with them. You do a lot of one on one teaching and you can change someones life by teaching them about how to manage their disease. You really treat the whole patient. You may be able to help with the patients living situation, depression, inability to pay for meds. You have time to be a detective. What could be causing that rash? Why is her hand swollen? If you like doing clinical stuff, you'll have plenty of that. Home care nurses can do nearly everything at home that nurses do in the hospital except give blood. You get to drive around the community in the sunshine but also the snow storms. I could go on and on...

    Cons: The paperwork is 50% of the job and you'll still have to work some weekends and holidays.
    That was a beautiful description....
  9. 0
    Downsides: you do a lot of paperwork and quite a bit of it comes home with you. Try to work for an agency that gives you a laptop and has EMR. If you work for a large agency, you won't have to rotate to weekends and holidays as often.


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