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Home Health burn out, advice welcome.

by swein swein (New) New

So I work for a smaller home health agency in the mid west. I am salaried, and it is decent pay, but the drive times between patients can be 2 hours. So I have a very long day trying to make my productivity points. My day typically starts at 6 am when i drop my baby off at the sitter and start my 1.5 to 2 hour drive to my first patient. I get home about 4pm, take care of the baby, put her to bed at 8 and finish charting by 1130. I am on call for 7 days at a time every other week. I only get 4 days off a month. And those days are normally spent catching up on charting. I have done this for almost 2 years and I am burnt out. I am thinking about going to work (2 )16 hour shifts at the nursing home just so I can get some time off.

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you for reading my rant.

Edited by swein
Edit title

Are you compensated for all that time on the road? Just curious, because whatever the answer, I would resign the job at this point if it were me. I just don't see this as being reasonable, but I can not speak for you.

I do receive 45 cents a mile. But not from home to first patient or from the last patient home. The closest patient I have is an hour away. I feel the same way, I think I need to leave for my own sanity. I just hate giving up on a job.

Run! I couldn't get out of that situation fast enough! How on Earth did you do that for 2 years?

I just kept telling myself that it would get better. I let them know a couple months ago that I needed a vacation and they told me I could move my patients all off of a couple days a week and just do really long days, so I could have a couple more days off a month, but when I do that they take my pto even though I go over productivity. So it is kinda a losing situation for me

I wish I had some advice to offer you, but I agree with another comment I saw. How in the world have you done this for 2 years. I didn't even make it to the one year mark. I had to go. My physical and mental health we're taking far too much of a hit. I wish you all the luck in the world.

How far away do you live from your base office? Is your territory before or beyond the office, or do you between your territory and the office?

I would have left that job long time ago. home health is hard to begin with and driving 2 hours for your first patient is too long.

I completely understand your situation. I have been a RN for MANY years. I've worked in almost every field from Staff Nursing to Consultant. I also worked I Home Health Care but it was several years ago when we got paid "hourly". I accepted a Home Care position about 3 months ago. Wow! Have times changed! Yes, now one gets paid "per visit" ($30) for me....and yes, the mileage begins AFTER your FIRST visit unless you make a trip to the office first. It was expected (although never really mentioned) but per weekly summary statistic reports sent out weekly at staff meetings...(in front of all) it seemed expected that one should see 8-9-10 patients a day. That could be reasonable if all your patients are in a certain mile radius of each other AND pray that no one has any acute medical issues going on! However, this is usually not the case. This is the real world! I worked, including my driving time, including providing QUALITY care to my patients or discovering certain "issues" that should have been previously addressed by the last Nurse! about 10-12 hours a day, that was usually seeing 6-7 patients SAFELY!....then only to come home and complete the documentation in the companies laptop staying up late. Or being so tired, just skipping dinner and waking at 4am to finish so you can start all over again! Congratulations to the nurse whom has been doing this for 2 years! Maybe it's my age, can't handle it, but I could only do this for 3 months and to keep my sanity, I had to quit. Never in my nursing career did I never give a notice! But I had no strength to keep going. I loved my patients... but when it seems the "numbers" are more important than anything else... it's time to go. Remember, you have to take care of you first before you take care of anyone else. Those 2,-16hr. shifts in the nursing home could be challenging but just think, you may just find that "balance" you have been searching for! Me?, I'm taking a break...and enjoying life.

Edited by Long time Nurse
Left words out

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

While looking for a new job, I've been reading posts from various nursing specialties. I haven't found one that doesn't have an "I'm burned out" post.

Nursing is hard work no matter where you do it. It seems that you're doing more than most.

Working in a nursing home has its own challenges but at least you'd have time off and not so much driving around. AND, you leave your work at work.

KellT1203, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in HH, Med/surg- liver & kidney transplant, ortho, ++. Has 11 years experience.

RUN! And run FAST!! I did home health for just under 3 years. I stayed with it because of the autonomy I had and because I had such a love for my patients. I was seriously getting burnt out, mostly because I kept getting more and more pressure from my management and no help. My thoughts on this is because I was one of the better, more organized nurses who actually got her work done. We had one nurse who would sometimes be a month behind on charting and pulled out of the field to catch up, and still get paid. I had very little morale of the company when I left. I didn't have any emotional attachment to my or coworkers when I left.

I was seeing my last patient on my last day (3 years ago yesterday in fact) sick when I got a call from my former boss stating a patient was just discharged home and needed a resumption, that day. I told her I was done, headed to the office and shouldn't have been seeing patients anyways because I had a horrible (HORRIBLE) cold. She was pissed and now I am no longer re-hirable to the company (which is a whole other story - and absolutely ridiculous).

I actually left my home health job and worked at a clinic, with little direct patient care for a few months and got laid off. I took a total of almost one year away from direct patient care. Gave me a break to regroup.

Home health is very hard. I found myself unable to shut off. Always charting, always checking and replying to emails. Lots of anxiety. Having worked so hard and with all the stress it has really taught me how to let things go and not be taken advantage of. I can totally leave my work at home now. I couldn't do that in home health. It also had a lot to do with starting a family while I was working for the agency. I felt like my job took a lot of time away from my daughter and put stress on my second pregnancy. Good luck!!!

I have been a nurse for over 5 years. My first job was with a hospital home health with most referrals coming in from the hospital. Things were streamlined and good communication with the hospital ensured we are taking care of the patients well. But when I moved to an independent home health things became messy. The nurse on the field has virtually no support from the office. There is so much expectation but zero help from the management. Every passing year charting is becoming more complicated. I am not sure how long I can survive


Has 18 years experience.

Oh my Gosh! you are completely speaking my language. I am not glad that others have had to experience this but I feel "validated" I left HH case management after 7years so burnt out I didn't even want to be a nurse anymore.