Still trying to figure out if this gig is for me on month 6. I thank you for all the help in advance for answering my questions.I do home health and hospice. More home health than hospice. Supposed to be mon8:30- 4;30, but it rarely is and I frequently work late without a lunch, or a pee break. And after that I still have a lot of work home.
Besides the paperwork, problems to solve are left for me on my weekends off. Saw one patient late in Friday, saddled with a dilemma, and now I am spending my Saturday trying to fix it. When does it end?
I have a baby shower to go to! Plus, my job is out of c trol stressful and I feel like I'm going to break and really need those 2 days not to think about work. I was told its just the nature of the job by my director in my department. She told me about how she works late and solves problems all Friday night. Difference is she is the director and gets paid six figures and I took a huge pay cut for this job at $32 stinking dollars and hour!
I got out of management because I couldn't bring this home with me anymore, it takes a huge toll on me. My daughter comes first in my life, she's 5 years old, I'm divorced single mom and she needs me to.
Is this normal?
Is this the way it should be? Because if it is, then I simply can't do it. Not for being lazy, but because my responsibilities are tremendous at home. My psyche can't take it!
Partial vent , partial true question. Thanks!
Last edit by Joe V on Oct 3, '12
: Reason: spacing
Sep 29, '12
I have about 6 months doing HH per Diem and I think that as a FT HH nurse you would be more stressed. As a per Diem nurse who only work 2 times a week plus some on call, I feel like the job doesn't end. Fixing problems and there is not much support in HH. Not enough supplies many times. It can be a good fit for some ppl but I feel like if I haven't loved it after six months then I probably won't. I like doing it per Diem but full time looks like it would be more pressure.
Sep 30, '12
They legally should be paying you for any time spent doing work. Would you be doing those things if you did not have the job...NO ..so it is work. If you come home and do 2 hours of paperwork..they need to pay you. If is happening a lot and they do not want to pay you..they need to adjust your workload so you are done at 1630. TOO many nurses will work for free and many HH agencies know this and take advantage of it to help their bottom line. If any problem needs followup during the weekend and they will not pay you...call the supervisor or dierector..they need to handle it.
Sep 30, '12
Reality of HH nursing is you will be doing work on your own time. Sometimes it is hours other times it may be only a note or two. Yes I always felt I was "on" 24/7 but not paid for it. I received calls at 8pm from doctors. I have also received calls from lab company 6am for a critical lab. It is all part of the job. Many are not cut out for it and I am one of those people.
Sep 30, '12
It really isn't for me. My home life is my home life. It's me and my 5 year old and she comes first. I already have enough responsibility at home, I can't be working here too. Plus, I need a life! Some work like a little charting on my own is ok, doing hours of paperwork and contacting doctors all weekend while I'm off the clock is not. I'm putting my extra hours on my time sheet. We will see what happens.I could do this per diem. Full time is too much. I took such a pay cut too to do this. The past 2 years of my nursing career really has me down. Nothing has worked for more than 6 months and I was unemployed for 5 months in that time. I had my first nursing job for almost 5 years. Now I am destroying my resume. Sometimes I just want out of the profession all together.
Oct 2, '12
To sum it all up,,,,the answer to your questions, is......it never ends. You re either finishing up todays work or getting ready for tomorrows! There literally is very very little down time. I have been doing HH for 27 yrs now, seen change after change, but one thing remains constant, the workday never ends. But we do it because we love it!
Oct 2, '12
27 years, god bless you. I have to be honest. I don't love enough to have my life taken away from me. To always be working, taking time away from my daughter, waking up todo work before work. It's pretty obvious you have to love it to make it work. I may have come up with a solution. Go back to icu part time and do HH per diem. I can do HH/ hospice per diem but not as a full time case manager.
Oct 2, '12
Ask your work if they have a Baylor position. 3 days a week,sat,Sunday and Monday, full time pay. Mostly admits or revisits, but NO case management .
Oct 3, '12
I've been a home care RN for 8 years now. At first, I did a lot more work after I was off the clock. Now, I do my reports that I didn't write in the home, and calls in the am before visits, on my next working day. When I get home, the only thing I do is to fax supply orders and reports written earlier in the day. All else can wait. Most of my patients are chronic, stable or palliative. If it was urgent, I dealt with it during the visit or via hands-free cell phone calls. If I can't reach a doctor, I send a fax which I try to write in the home at the time.
I don't answer work calls, emails etc when I'm on my days off. At first, the office kept expecting me to do it, but I kept my responses short, discouraged further calls by making it clear I was NOT working. If they want me to work - they need to pay me.
I explain to pt's that there is an on-call nurse - 24/7. I'm not that nurse. I will respond to calls when I am working, there is a safety net for when I'm not available.
Nurses need to set limits. No other profession works off the clock. Not setting limits leads to burnout, errors and job dissatisfaction.
Oct 3, '12
The Department of Justice was working on the issue of home health nurses being shorted pay for working off-clock. As has been pointed out by others, it is illegal to for an employer to insist on this, and you should be compensated for the hours worked. As a travel nurse in home health and hospice, I have the added layer of protection that comes from my agency. They insist that I list all hours worked for the company. If your employer insists that you're "Salaried, Exempt from Overtime", you can contact your state department of labor for a determination. More likely though, you would be better off getting ready to leave. I've found that employers that have a culture of insisting on abusing salaried employees rarely have much respect for their employees and ultimately are not good places to work. I know that there are good home health and hospice agencies out there and you should keep plugging until you find one of them.
Oct 3, '12
One of my reasons for leaving my last job was because I could never leave my problems at work. Totally different setting than hh but same issue. Not worth it to me.
Oct 4, '12
I do home infusion about 20-40 hrs per pay period and the rest on an IV/PICC team for a different healthcare organization. I put in all my time for HH and they pay me for what I actually do. I get time for patient calls and prep time as well. If something takes me longer than expected such ad a drug reaction or heavy traffic I list that on my DAR and they pay me. In return the company and the patients get a very intelligent and knowledgeable nurse that really has quite a love for the profession.
Oct 4, '12
As nurses we do not want to volunteer our clinical or professional time to our employers.
This creates terrible situations for the nurses who will follow you into that work...the expectation is then alive and well.
Nurses are professionals in my honest opinion. We should not bill in less than 15 minute intervals, in my opinion, and we should not offer to work off the clock out of the goodness of our hearts.
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