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Considering switch to home health- seeking advice

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Hello everyone! I've been reading the posts here and am considering the possibility of transitioning to home health. I've been an acute care Rn for 6 years in med/surg type settings, and would really like to move on to something new with more autonomy and maybe slightly less stress (though, all jobs have different stresses and I'm not sure if home health is less stressed or not). I love to teach, so that part of the job appeals to me.

On the flip side, I hear there's a lot of paperwork...and am getting the impression that home health is not paid hourly? (I read posts about people taking work home to "finish up.") Is that true in general? I've had my fill of donating my free labor, so if that's the case, I don't think it will be a good match. I don't mind doing paperwork...if I get paid for it. I also would LOVE to know what you consider a "good" home health position (in terms of patients/day, caseload, mileage, pay comparable to hospital RNs, benefits,orientation, etc.) How do I know which companies are best? I would also like to know if you can usually take a 30 min. lunch break? (I haven't had one in years...sure would be nice to work someplace that I could USUALLY have one). It seems like no nursing jobs encourage safe workloads or breaks these days...*sigh*

Any words of wisdom or warning? Anyone made the jump from acute to HH and have advice to share? I'm really ready to try something new. :) Thanks in advance!

You just have to try hh for yourself to see if you like it or not. Some people can't stand it and others couldn't do anything else. Your med/surg experience should prepare you nicely for home health. You are all alone in the home and have to rely on your knowledge. Some people are salary, some are hourly, and some are paid per visit. Personally I like being paid per visit but I have friends who prefer the hourly route. Some days I make a killing and other days I make less than I would if I were paid hourly. I figure it just works out. I do most of my paperwork at home but that is my choice. What I am paid per visit includes the paperwork so it doesn't matter where I do it. I like being able to sit down when everyone is asleep in the quiet and work. I find that I am too distracted at the office. Of course there is some paperwork that I have to do at the office but most of it I do at home.

There is a lot of paperwork in home health that's for sure. As you get more accustomed to it it goes much more smoothly. I have been doing hh for almost four years. I started at a different company several months ago and some of the paperwork was different. I went from being able to do admission paperwork in an hour to it taking me 3 hours at my new job at first. Now that I am used to the change it takes me an hour again. My advice is to not get too frustrated and give yourself time to adjust- at least 6 months.

As far as visits per day, it really just depends on things like the size of the coverage area, acuity of the patients, etc. Some days I have done 3 admissions and 10 visits and haven't felt too stressed. Other days I am wiped out after only 4 visits. Every day is different. I usually don't stop once I start but that's what is nice about hh- you can take a break when you want to and have time. I also like not being cooped up all day in a building and love getting paid to explore new places.

Mileage rates will vary greatly depending upon the agency. My last employer paid 26 cents a mile (and still do). Where I am now pays whatever the govt. does which is 36 cents.

Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to PM me!

Ann

akcarmean, LPN

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

Hello everyone! I've been reading the posts here and am considering the possibility of transitioning to home health. I've been an acute care Rn for 6 years in med/surg type settings, and would really like to move on to something new with more autonomy and maybe slightly less stress (though, all jobs have different stresses and I'm not sure if home health is less stressed or not). I love to teach, so that part of the job appeals to me.

On the flip side, I hear there's a lot of paperwork...and am getting the impression that home health is not paid hourly? (I read posts about people taking work home to "finish up.") Is that true in general? I've had my fill of donating my free labor, so if that's the case, I don't think it will be a good match. I don't mind doing paperwork...if I get paid for it. I also would LOVE to know what you consider a "good" home health position (in terms of patients/day, caseload, mileage, pay comparable to hospital RNs, benefits,orientation, etc.) How do I know which companies are best? I would also like to know if you can usually take a 30 min. lunch break? (I haven't had one in years...sure would be nice to work someplace that I could USUALLY have one). It seems like no nursing jobs encourage safe workloads or breaks these days...*sigh*

Any words of wisdom or warning? Anyone made the jump from acute to HH and have advice to share? I'm really ready to try something new. :) Thanks in advance!

I work for a HH care facility. There is not a lot of paper work. Your assessment chart beginning and end of shift then at least every 2 hours unless something is wrong and needs to be charted. Then you have your MAR's to initial if any meds are given or you did what is required on your shift. Once a week the paper work gets changed but all you have to do is date the new sheets and maybe add a couple of dates to certain entries. It's done every Sat. night so the same nurse never has to always change the weekly paper work. I love working in the HH field. I have been on the same case since 2001 and for the same family.

Hi, I'm a peds homecare nurse who works 4/10 hr noc shifts/wk & i've been ding it for 7 yrs. I LOVE it! I love the families, the laid back atmosphere ( family). I take care of 1 pt & have for over a yr now. I drive 30 miles each way & do NOT get pd mileage either :o My longest was 4.5 yrs w/ 1 pt. MUCH less stress & plenty of time to eat, parents expect you to have break & lunch (although you're still there incase of emergency etc. Have done LTC & it's not bad at all, but gets scarey when you have no CNA's & your license is on the line trying to cover all jobs. Also worked as psych. nurse in VA hosp. It was ok too, just got boring at times. The pay isn't the best & I hear administration is getting to cut our shift diff. & weekend pay, but if i need a day off or 2 or 3, we schedule monthly & i just put in for it ahead of time. Some families are hard to work for, but you have to realize waht your job is & where you're at (their home). Most of my cases have been in foster homes & I've loved it so much my husband & I went through soter care training to care for a medically fragile baby ( trach, vent, cpap etc..), but none yet available yet..anyway I love it!! Hope this helps. :)

Hello everyone! I've been reading the posts here and am considering the possibility of transitioning to home health. I've been an acute care Rn for 6 years in med/surg type settings, and would really like to move on to something new with more autonomy and maybe slightly less stress (though, all jobs have different stresses and I'm not sure if home health is less stressed or not). I love to teach, so that part of the job appeals to me.

On the flip side, I hear there's a lot of paperwork...and am getting the impression that home health is not paid hourly? (I read posts about people taking work home to "finish up.") Is that true in general? I've had my fill of donating my free labor, so if that's the case, I don't think it will be a good match. I don't mind doing paperwork...if I get paid for it. I also would LOVE to know what you consider a "good" home health position (in terms of patients/day, caseload, mileage, pay comparable to hospital RNs, benefits,orientation, etc.) How do I know which companies are best? I would also like to know if you can usually take a 30 min. lunch break? (I haven't had one in years...sure would be nice to work someplace that I could USUALLY have one). It seems like no nursing jobs encourage safe workloads or breaks these days...*sigh*

Any words of wisdom or warning? Anyone made the jump from acute to HH and have advice to share? I'm really ready to try something new. :) Thanks in advance!

Hello everyone! I've been reading the posts here and am kinda in the same boat as you. I have done hospice work, and the company went out of business, then went to private duty nursing, only its been all night turn for almost 2 years on the same case. I decided to try hh nursing, a job came up in my own town, and the nurse i am replacing looks like she puts a total of 40 miles a day on the car.(she says she really liked it, but she got a call from a friend for area on aging with a sup job, and the pay was too good to pass up).Usually 2-3 patients a day are at one facility, and the others, around 4 more,our in the home.Looks like the admisistrator of this asst living likes to do all the dr's calls for orders(she can do that :) lol.Its been a hard decision for me, cause right now i do have it pretty nice, but my husband is fat up with the tired cranky wife, who has to lay down every night at 7pm to get rest. I have two big dogs(see the name? lol) and this new job allows me to start around 9am if i want and be home at noon for lunch(to check on my dogs) then husband is home by 2:30, so i don't have to worry about them.I took a 1.75 an hour paycut, that sucks, but i should make up some of that with milage,cell phone reimbursement and opt out money for health care, oh and company gives a bonus quarterly.Organization is the key. i plan on buying a nice rubbermade tub for the trunk, and keep all papers in there.Logs are very important.Most of all, teaching and getting to know the older folks is fun:) good luck, letme know how things work out. Also, this job was quoted as a set amount per year, then they broke it down as a hourly wage based on 40 hours a week for me.Its fulltime, so they do not offer the per visit pay unless it is on your "on call time", another nice thing, it looks like call is every 6 weeks, mon-thurs...hope thats the truth! lol...Sometimes you just got to take a chance and pray god has a good plan for ya :)bye:)

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