Considering switch to home health

Specialties Home Health


  • by LatteRN
    Specializes in Geriatric.

Hi everyone,

I have been a nurse for about 7 years, I have only worked in nursing homes. I am considering  looking into home health nursing in the future. I am concerned about being "on my own" with patients and want to prepare and learn as much as I can before considering a switch. Are there any skills that you wish you knew before you became a home health nurse? Thank you!!


106 Posts

I also worked SNF prior to home health and found it a natural transition. The wound care and postop care at home was similar to the patients I was caring for at the rehab, the OASIS assessments at home ask the same type of questions as the GG questions we completed at the SNF, the information gathered at Start of Care at home was similar to the admission to SNF. And nursing home experience surely gives you the time management skills required for home care. I found I did a lot more patient education in the homecare setting than I had time for in the SNF - diabetes teaching, CHF and COPD management, etc. So gathering good teaching aids was helpful. Also tasks such as changing a catheter and wound vacs are a different animal in the home setting - often no hospital bed to raise to the right height, no nice clean bedside table for a sterile field, dishes in the sink when you go to wash your hands, that took some getting used to. I also had to learn about insurance more than I ever wanted to! In the SNF that is someone else's headache. But I much preferred home care to SNF due to the uninterrupted one on one focus on each patient. The skill that was new to me when I switched was pleural catheters, asept/pleurex which I had not practiced at my SNF. Also my homecare agency did not do home blood draws but I know some do, and a lab used to do ours in the rehab. At home we did finger stick INR tests that were also done by the lab. I think those were the only new things I had to learn.

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