Sometimes I feel like a babysitter, but you would be surprised at the skills you learn from home care! You still would get medication administration, peg/gt/ngt, wound care, vents, trachs, PT/OT/ST and many other skills. Hope that helps some.
I keep one regular case and I float other than that. I also stay with at least 2 agencies for a number of reasons. If you are concerned about losing skills you can float so you aren't doing the same thing day after day. I also do the complex cases. Occasionally for a "lazy day" I'll do a basic case. I tend to work cases with vents, TPN, IV meds, etc that require more skills to be used. I like the cases where the pt has multiple issues instead of one basic problem. There are plenty of "babysitting" type cases out there. The truely complex cases are less common. But those are also the ones that are harder to find nurses for. Just make sure you have plenty of experience before jumping in to a complex case by yourself. Because there won't be a team of nurses or Dr's there when things go wrong...and if you are in it for any period of time, they will go wrong at some point. It may be a better option to try easy cases and work your way up to the harder cases. Some agencies will only let certain nurses go on the complex cases. And some cases the only babysitting is babysitting parents.
Some cases I did feel like a glorified babysitter, especially one in particular where 99% of the job was to entertain/stimulate the child on the bus so she didn't beat herself in the head, chase after her at school so she didn't hurt herself, feed her, and change her diapers. I gave her one med at lunch PO. She was on seizure precautions and we kept PRN 02 for her so this is why she needed a skilled nurse with her at all times. I eventually left the case bc I was losing skills, plus that girl wore me out each day!
YES! LOL... I have had cases as a HHN in Peds that I literally felt like my entire job was babysitting. I had a case that the parents did all the meds and the "nurse" was there to sit on the floor and feed and play with the kids, perhaps two sets of vitals per shift were OK as well... But that was the extent of the shift. Needless to say after 2 days I was outta there.
I have been working in Peds Home Health for over a year now, and although some days I really have to use my nursing skills and critical thinking, there have been some days where I wonder why on earth I get paid so much to do this?
I am working toward my RN and will continue part-time in HHN with Peds after graduation, but don't plan to stay in it forever. I am teetering on if I will get out of Peds altogether or not.
A lot of nurses report that they loose their skills too. Personally I spend the shift checking and trouble shooting vents, suctioning trachs, changing trachs, q4 straight caths, g/j/ngt feeds which include replacing Mickeybuttons and NGTs, medications administration via numerous routes, breathing treatments, accuchecks, and many other things including IV therapy and lab draws. I also spend every shift doing a head to toe assessment with O2 sat monitoring and VS at least twice a shift.
So there are places where you can and do use your skills and are not just babysitting.