When 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.