Bad Experience with Home Health


I have been a member with allnurses since December of 2013. I never post on my account, so I decided to start a new account as a registered nurse. I appreciated the blogs as a student nurse. Now, I am a registered nurse. I passed, yay!

I just had a horrible experience with home health nursing. It was painful, it was terrible, and I feel thrown out.

Out of of respect for Hipaa and the patient I will be as descriptive as possible.

The patient sought out Home Health nurses on social media. I applied full disclosure, I am an ADN new grad, and I have a full time job. I was encouraged to apply to the patients home health company, so I did. I turned in the 64 page application and was given an orientation date. The patient has a rare disorder and 24/7 RN care but I was very diligent in researching the case and orientation was assigned (no pay and on my own time). When I arrived, the next nurse was late, so I tried to introduce myself to the patient and family but they didn't want to talk to me. The nurse arrived, and didn't talk to me, just handed me patient case information for me to read.

Finally, I was asked if I had any questions, I asked my questions and the nurse (who I later found out is amazing and close to the family and patient) and patient and family began asking me questions. This is where I think things soured but I don't know. I am an open and honest person and I told them where my full time job is- and the patient's parent informed me she had a horrible experience with my job's hospital. At this point it seemed that the patient's parent kept putting me on the defensive.

The parent questioned my experience as an ADN and informed me that BSNs are the preferred caretaker, but I am understanding that BSNs are preferred and I let them know they are the client and their preferences are important.

The parent then questioned my experience with the rare disorder and I informed them that I was able to google search the patient as the patient has made their situation very available and public and that I read up on as much as I could.

I spent 7 hours at this orientation, and left feeling confident in my abilities to care for this patient.

The company scheduled me for a 12 hour shift, 7a to 7p.

The day before my first shift, I noticed my name on the schedule which had been in green (for go) was red (for cancelled) so I contacted both bosses and received no response. The night before my shift, I called the home health company to confirm my shift and was informed "the patient has asked that you not be assigned to this case and when asked why they said you did nothing wrong, and when pushed, they had no reason to give, only that they want an experienced nurse."

This would be understandable except they hired one other person from my graduating class and this other person is still on the schedule, they are an ADN and they have no experience.

I have been trying to understand, and be kind and understanding, but I can not help but feel betrayed by the agency and the family who sought me out on social media and told me to apply only to "fire me" if you will. Any suggestions, comments or encouragement would be immensely appreciated. :down:


40 Posts

Try not to drive yourself crazy in an attempt to explain the "why" behind other people's behavior. You will never find satisfaction. Personally, I am a chronic over-analyzer myself so I understand your need make sense of this but try to let it go. The entire situation is annoying but look on the bright side and consider yourself lucky to have gotten out of the situation before something really ugly happened. You may have dodged a bullet. :woot:

There will always be patients or family members that you just don't gel with despite your best efforts. Ask yourself if this will matter in 3 months, 6 months, etc. Chances are a year from now and you won't even remember their names.


5 Posts

I worked in home health for the first year of my nursing career, and one thing I learned in that time was to understand patient control.

Frequently, patients requiring home health nurses do not have control of their lives - ie. Driving, when to bathe, when to go to bed, etc. Things that you and I take for granted.

There were many situations when I didn't understand why a patient did things the way they did. I even was even cancelled from a case for being "young and liking country music". Seriously. I was dressing pts wound, we were joking about music, I told him I liked country, he said "don't come back" .. I laughed, thinking we were on the same page. Nope... got a call the next day that I was taken off his service for being too young.

It happens. Don't take it personally.

Not sure about your area, but mine has loads of need for pediatric home care. You'll find a replacement case easily


51 Posts

I have to say this I recently tried to go to home health and it has been a nightmare for me! I wish I could be more encouraging to you but after 2 years with 2 different companies that just made me wanna quit nursing, they told me Friday I take to much initiative to get the job done, I don't even know how to take that? So I am going to a different area. Good luck!