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Dealing with Pets

Home Health   (892 Views | 11 Replies)

533 Profile Views; 15 Posts

Hey guys! So I'm in school to be an LPN and the end goal is to be a CRNA. In the meantime, I wanted to do Home Health Nursing when I graduate LPN school all the way up until I get my BSN. I'd rather do that than to work at an ECF with a 40:1 ratio. HOWEVER...one thing that kinda makes me a bit hesitant is that I am absolutely terrified of dogs and I'm not a big fan of cats. Basically anything that's not in a tank or some type of cage 24/7 is a NO for me. 

I was wondering if this would be an issue or if there is some kind of flexibility with picking your patients. 

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Elfriede has 40 years experience and specializes in ambulant care.

224 Posts; 4,001 Profile Views

There´s nothing you can´t learn.

 

Just visit a dog school ! You don´t need a own dog.

Learn about dogs. How to read them and how to behave.

 

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63 Posts; 523 Profile Views

I can see why HH would seem like a better option while finishing school, but just FYI there are scarier things in HH than dogs and cats. 

The flexibility can definitely be there in terms of your hours. But as a nurse who is just about to burnout and leave HH for the second time in 8 years, it’s not ‘easier’ nursing. It can take over your life. 

Some agencies do let you decline patients for things like pets, depending on their staff availability. If you turn down too many patients they may utilize you less (if you are per diem) or let you go if you are hourly and they can’t keep you busy. 

 

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38 Posts; 148 Profile Views

I am an HHA and severely allergic to cats. When I told the coordinator, she basically told me that I cut the number of cases I would be offered in half. I was lucky because I did get a case immediately after I got my certificate in a cat-free house and have been there since. The agency I am with has way more cases than the have people to fill them so I am lucky in that regard. 

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5 Posts; 43 Profile Views

I mean its up to you. You either suck it up a d deal or dont. I hate smoking but my patients smoked all over me when I was an LPN and then a CM. It sucked but the job was worth it.

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CaliHHRN is a ASN, RN and specializes in WCC.

15 Posts; 668 Profile Views

You can call the patient 30 mins to an hour of you going to the visit and request for the pets to be put outside or in another room. You are there for the patient not to entertain their pets. Some of the hospitals actually tell the patient's to do this when they're discharged.  As mentioned above you will see a lot more than just pets. In my 3 years of HH I've seen guns, drugs, hoarders, meth addicts, halfway houses, bed bugs, rats to name a few. None of it really phases me after awhile it just becomes the norm. I agree with Zippy83 as well the job does take over your life in a way. I get calls in the evening and weekends from patients even though we have a 1-800 number and have what feels like a never ending amount of documentation to complete.

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NamasteLVN has 7 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in Hospice.

8 Posts; 219 Profile Views

Let the agency know as soon as you interview. They will accommodate trust me. So many agencies to choose from if they have a problem with your prefences move on to another agency. I've been a home health nurse for 6 years. At first i thought I'd be fine with animals because I'm an animal person but when i had cases where irresponsible pet owners would have dogs that sh*t and piss all over the place it's not cool especially when you accidentally step in it. Plus pets are a tripping hazard for you. Your safety comes first. My sister, also a home health nurse had an issue with a German shepard in the home who became aggressive. Luckily it did not attack. She left patient's home after informing patients mom of course, she did not feel safe. Trust me a lot of agencies can care less about your safety and just need a warm body to fill case you need to make it clear to the asap. 

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Idiosyncratic has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1 Follower; 689 Posts; 10,741 Profile Views

I know this thread is a bit older, but I wanted to put my two cents in. As a home health nurse who loves animals and has taken a dog class - I was the unfortunate one who got attacked by one rendering me out of work for 4 weeks(stuck in the office on light duty) and still in pain today. 

However, I didn't stop working home health. What I do now, is request for animals to be put away. In a room, outside - whatever necessary. Our safety is just as important. Plus, you have to take a step back and think. We are performing wound care, and various other things that HURT. Regardless of the temperament of the animal - it would be unwise to think they won't protect their owner. 

Good Luck!

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jbudrick has 18 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Certified Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurse.

80 Posts; 3,687 Profile Views

Another problem with pets is that some pet owners don't vaccinate their pets.  Imagine getting bit by a cute little dog that hasn't had its rabies vaccination.  I know a couple of clinicians that has happened to.  The agency I work for requires all pets to be put away for visits.

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Idiosyncratic has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1 Follower; 689 Posts; 10,741 Profile Views

15 minutes ago, jbudrick said:

Another problem with pets is that some pet owners don't vaccinate their pets.  Imagine getting bit by a cute little dog that hasn't had its rabies vaccination.  I know a couple of clinicians that has happened to.  The agency I work for requires all pets to be put away for visits.

✋ That was me. 3 weeks antibiotics, puking my guts up repeatedly, multiple visits to the workman's comp person and an ER visit. My company doesn't force animals to be put away, but you bet your butt I make them put them away. lol

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3 Followers; 37,052 Posts; 98,453 Profile Views

Once worked for an agency that had a policy about who got work first, in what order.  They had you sign a document that listed 24 or 26 or so instances of the nurse preferences that would affect where you were placed on the "call for work" list.  Then, at the end, they said if you stated that you made any preferences, for example, refusing to work in a home with dogs, that you would not be placed on that rotation list for preferential assignment.  This was in spite of the agency being union.  Since no one could know where they were on the "list" anyway, I didn't see the point in the document either way.  Either you get work or you don't.  If you don't want to work around smoking, or dogs, or in a home where there is open street drug use, or any other matter, tell the agency and refuse that particular case.  There are cases out there with other agencies where you don't have to be exposed to such.

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