What's good about home care nursing! Please add more...
1Mar 25, '13 by Marcia73I see a lot of posts about the downsides of home care, and I share these same frustrations! But I fear it will scare potential home care nurses away. I know I tend to come here when I am frustrated and looking for support, and less likely when things are going well at work.
SO, I want to start a thread about the positives of home care nursing. I know I can't be the only one who loves doing home care! Please jump in and add your thoughts, too.
A few things I love about being a home care nurse:
1. It is the most rewarding nursing job I have ever had. I often feel I made a difference at the end of the day. I didn't feel this way too often working in the hospital. I feel many or most of my patients truly appreciate my/our visits.
2. The independence is wonderful!!!! I can call my kids or husband in between visits in my car. I can read a magazine during down time waiting for my next scheduled visit. I feel I can decompress and relax between visits. There is no one breathing down the back of my neck.
3. I love that I can be super efficient and get the pay off. When I worked in the hospital if I got my work completed, I just had to help others' with theirs who were not using their time wisely.
4. My day as a home care nurse is a giant check list. I love checking things off and get a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
5. Here's a BIG one: if you have a bad back, home care may be the job for you! I've had back surgery and struggled with what kind of nursing I could do. I have very little to no lifting in this job. If I am seeing a paraplegic or someone I know may require lifting, I make sure to go when I know the aide is there so I'll have help with turning, etc...
My thoughts on the downsides of home care:
Charting in the evening. This almost never happens to me now. I generally arrive to my next visit 10 minute early at least. I park in a parking lot and chart my butt off. I also chart in the homes. At first this was hard for me to chart in the homes. i felt I was being rude typing instead of giving my patient 100%. But this has changed, and I almost never have charting in the evening. I think it is just like working in the hospital. If you don't keep up on your charting continuously, it piles up at the end of your shift.
I do get very frustrated with phone calls on my days off. I stopped answering and stopped feeling guilty. Boundaries. The agency I work for is not understanding about this, but I don't work for free on my days off.
I'd love to hear from other nurses here who love home care. What do you love about it? I know there are more I'm not thinking of.
0Mar 26, '13 by paradiseboundRNQuote from Marcia73This is exactly how I got started in home care. I've had 2 lami's and a fusion. Once I started home care I have very little problems with my back.5. Here's a BIG one: if you have a bad back, home care may be the job for you! I've had back surgery and struggled with what kind of nursing I could do. I have very little to no lifting in this job. If I am seeing a paraplegic or someone I know may require lifting, I make sure to go when I know the aide is there so I'll have help with turning, etc...
3Mar 26, '13 by paradiseboundRNPros: 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.
0Mar 27, '13 by greatpyrI currently work with home hospice patients but will soon be doing home health care. I appreciate reading all of the positive things about home care. Yes, I agree it is rewarding to establish a connection with patient, family, and pets. It definately has a different feel from hospital nursing.
3Mar 27, '13 by 84RNWhen I was returning to the workforce after 17 years at home with kids, HH was the area I wanted for the following reasons:
1. No 12 hour shifts...the hospitals around here all do 12s, and it's not compatible with my family life--a husband that travels frequently for work, kids at several schools and a lot of activities, and I need to be able to be immediately accessible by phone because of a child with health needs.
2. Less physical than other areas of nursing. I've had back issues and just can't do lifting and the physically demanding work required in hospitals. Even getting on the floor or reaching across a bed for wound care is less strain on my back than I had previously.
3. No weekends or nights.
I work per diem, so am pretty much able to make my own schedule---whatever the patient and I decide is a good time for me to visit, is when I do the visit. I fit my work into the school day, and can schedule patients around my kids' dr appts, field trips, and other obligations.
There are a few things I've found that I didn't think about before working in HH that I love:
Being able to run an errand or two between patients.
Getting outside in the sunshine--recharges me vs being inside a hospital for the whole day.
I can actually eat lunch---usually take lunch if it's a full day and either eat in my car while listening to music or on my phone, or stop somewhere. I've even been able to meet a friend for lunch a few times.
I know where every Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are located in the county. I love coffee and iced tea, so stop at one of them daily, and the bonus is they have clean bathrooms---very important to know about in HH, lol.
My previous nursing experience was in Surgical/Trauma ICU and L&D, and I never, ever was interested in geriatrics. You know what? Now I love it. These patients have really grown on me, and I love having a relationship with them, getting to know them and their families, and making a difference in their lives. Some not-so-good experiences, but overall, it's been very positive, and people are so thankful for the help. I've met some fascinating people that have often given me a new perspective. After I turned the big 5-0 last year, one of my patients was talking about age, and asked me mine. She was in her 80's and said, "I'd give anything to be back in my 50's---what a great age and time in my life." At the same time, I had some friends lamenting our ages, so it was good to hear. I've taken care of Holocaust survivors, and other people that have had amazing lives, and I feel blessed to have met them.
There are definitely downsides like the mountains of paperwork, and continual audits/oversight we seem to have from our own agency and parent company, CMS, the state.
This job puts a lot of miles on my car, and I get tired of the driving/traffic sometimes.
0Mar 27, '13 by paradiseboundRNQuote from 84RNMcDonalds $1.00 any size drinks is awesome and they have pretty clean bathrooms.I know where every Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are located in the county. I love coffee and iced tea, so stop at one of them daily, and the bonus is they have clean bathrooms---very important to know about in HH, lol.
Quote from 84RNI have met some very interesting seniors as well. I love hearing their life stories. I met one gentleman who is an author and signed a copy of his book for me. I met a grammy winner (writes music) and a 100 year old who has traveled all over the world. I met a woman who started one of the first African American sororities at Wayne State University and went on to work for the CIA.I've met some fascinating people that have often given me a new perspective.
2Mar 27, '13 by KelRN215, BSN, RNI like caring for patients in THEIR environment and I feel like, in this job, I'm actually making people's lives easier instead of making them more difficult. Working in the hospital, people aren't always that appreciative of your nursing interventions... "Here I am, I'll be here all night and I'll be waking your child up q 2hrs for neuro checks, vitals and repositioning." All that stuff is obviously necessary but people do not want to be in the hospital and when you do things that they don't like, it doesn't help. For the most part, people WANT to be at home and appreciate that your actions facilitate them being able to stay there.
0Jul 11, '13 by jonathan104Hi, i think that it's a good topic to discuss. Home care nursing is a good job in itself. It is good especially for the women. There are so many companies like Mauds home care, Eden homecare, Bluebird care, Vivi homecare, Runway homecare which are providing home care services to the people. One who does the job in such home cares, can experience different-different elder people. In home cares, one can get so many blessings of such people.Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Jul 20, '13