When I was a field nurse, I loved being able to spend time with my patients, truly focus on them and their needs without being interrupted by call lights, telephone calls, doctors, therapists, phlebotomy, etc. I liked the time in the car between patients to eat, decompress, listen to the radio, and be alone. I felt like I had the time to devote to them to help them adjust their lifestyles, rather than throw some pills at them and run on to the next one. It's not for everyone, though, and while we may gripe about our jobs, it's really true that the worst day in home health is better than the best day in the hospital.
It takes a certain kind of nurse to succeed in home health: excellent clinical skills, excellent critical thinking and decision making abilities, organization beyond all measure, flexibility to adjust to the needs of patients and the agency's staffing needs, and a sense of humility. If you are set in your ways, don't like to learn new ways to do things, always want everything done perfectly, and expect to have a set schedule, then you will fail miserably. Some days you'll beat the school bus home, some days the bus will beat you. Some days you'll be done at noon and have little paperwork to catch up on, some days you will be out past 5 to get all your visits done and still have a mountain of paperwork to do. There will be times that you are completely in over your head, and there will be days that patients or family members scream obscenities at you. There will also be times that you catch a DVT, the beginings of a CHF exacerbation, early pneumonia, and save a life. You will have hugs and threats. You will be offerred all kinds of foods, including some that you may never have seen before. (Always accept food if offered. You don't have to eat it, take it with you and tell them you'll eat it later. They are expressing their gratitude, accept it gracefully!) You will see mansions and you will see hovels. You have to accept people as they are, warts and all, and meet them where they are. You have to be humble, you are in their home. You have the ability and power to change lives, use it responsibly.
I cannot imagine doing anything else and enjoying it as much as I do home health.