home health aide hours

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    So Im a cna and have just started doing some home health aide for an elderly woman who, at the moment requires 24hr care. So I was wondering how many hours straight is one "allowed" to work. I'm pulling 24 hours shift and I have to say I hate it already. Just this pass week I have worked 90hrs and have only slept in my bed for 2 nights. For eg just this weekend I worked from 8am sat to 8am sun then back again 6pm sun night to 6pm mon night. Is this even legal? I can sleep there so I guess its not straight through but I'm beginning to regret leaving the nursing home I worked at. I love my pay check but the money didn't seem worth the time away from my family. I'm at her house more than my own.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Misty720,
    Private duty care giving is a big pull on your social life. But, and I say But, It does have its rewards. For one, YOU get to give that person the kind of care you wanted to give the residents in the Nursing Home but couldn't because you had to much to do. You and You alone, can make sure your patient gets all that is needed and more. I don't know if you are married or have children, But try to look at your situation a little differently. 1. you dont pay electricty when you are there, 2. you pretty much run the show. 3. you dont have a boss looking over you all the time and stress beyond stress every day then go home exhausted.
    4. if possible take the person on a walk, get out of the house. It will do you both a world of good. 5. I did it for a week and loved it, but then Im married and have children.

    Check with the labor laws regarding 24 cg in your state.
    CoffeemateCNA likes this.
  5. 0
    I work in assisted living and I work 72 hours straight every other weekend. As far as I know, there are no laws against it in my state. I don't like being away from home for 3 days straight but on the other hand, I only have to work 6 days a month. I'm beginning nursing school in August and with this job, I'll be able to study and do homework while I'm at work.
  6. 1
    Oh my god. I don't have it that bad after all. I guess I should just be sucking it up especially in this ecomony. It is so much better having the one on one. Definately better care. If u don't mind me asking, where are u located?
    HoneyDinkley likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from misty720
    Oh my god. I don't have it that bad after all. I guess I should just be sucking it up especially in this ecomony. It is so much better having the one on one. Definately better care. If u don't mind me asking, where are u located?
    North Carolina. I'm slowly getting used to the hours. But like I said, I do have a lot of free time most of the time.
  8. 0
    Quote from misty720
    So Im a cna and have just started doing some home health aide for an elderly woman who, at the moment requires 24hr care. So I was wondering how many hours straight is one "allowed" to work. I'm pulling 24 hours shift and I have to say I hate it already. Just this pass week I have worked 90hrs and have only slept in my bed for 2 nights. For eg just this weekend I worked from 8am sat to 8am sun then back again 6pm sun night to 6pm mon night. Is this even legal? I can sleep there so I guess its not straight through but I'm beginning to regret leaving the nursing home I worked at. I love my pay check but the money didn't seem worth the time away from my family. I'm at her house more than my own.
    Did PD in both home and hospital setting as a NA years ago, and yes it is legal (though you may wish to check your local laws), for you to work several "24" hour shifts in a row.

    IIRC, the law assumes you will not be "on duty" the full twenty four hours (at least when doing home care), in that your patient goes to sleep at night, and therefore you should as well, hence you aren't "working". Indeed a group of home health aides here in NY recently sued because they felt working 24 hours but being paid only for 12 or so meant they were entitled to overtime, but lost in court pretty much for the same reason listed above, IIRC.

    Being as the above may, that logic does not always follow and things on the ground often vary by the patient. For instance if one's charge is an infant, young child, or restless elderly person, you may not get much down time at night, and yet are expected to be bright eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning.

    I was living at home, and going to college (nursing school), so it wasn't like I was missing much on the homefront, and one simply made the best of each assignment. However when my agency called they would most always say how long the case was scheduled and would I be available or not for the duration. You can always tell your agency you aren't available for a few days, after finishing a case if you feel you need a break.
  9. 0
    Quote from misty720
    Just this pass week I have worked 90hrs and have only slept in my bed for 2 nights. .
    Can you tell your employer you would like fewer hours? If they have that many hours they should be able to hire more help.

    I work for a large hospital's Home Health department and I love it. I used to work as a CNA in LTC also and boy is this a lot better. If you work for a small agency, you might have fewer options but you would think they could give you a better schedule than you describle.

    I don't do too many overnights (although I have one tomorrow). We have to stay up, but if we work past 12 hours in a day, we get double time.
  10. 0
    I am so sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I've been working in home care for 3 years now as the visiting nurse and the case manager in which I've had many experiences with HHA's. At least in NYS, working a 24hr shift means you get paid for 13hrs of work and you are allowed to sleep during the night in your own 'set up' space- with the understanding that you may need to get up a few times to assist the patient for whatever reason. Working a split shift (two 12 hour shifts), gets paid for 12 hrs at a time but this usually split between two HHA's and the there is no sleeping allowed as the patient requires a high level of care and must be attended to at all hours. Being an HHA is a very demanding and stressful job both physically and emotionally. There are other web forums for HHA's to share about their experiences and whether or not there are duties that are either out of their scope of practice or even legal. I hope this helps and I do hope that you find some happiness in this health care field. People can burn out very easily in the healthcare field.
  11. 1
    As long as you don't work the entire 24 hours it should be generally legal. If this is putting too much of a strain on you, inform your agency that you want to cut back to 12 or 8 hour shifts or whatever suits you. No sense in making yourself unhealthy over a job. The agency might hire some other caregivers so that you are not responsible for this client for such a long period of time. It does get old and constraining after awhile.
    UnbreakableOne likes this.


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