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Home Health LVN vs RN

Posted

Specializes in LVN. Has 2 years experience.

I am curious about Home Health. I am a new LVN with 3.5 months experience. How much experience is recommended before entering HH? What does a HH LVN do vs. a HH RN? Is home health nursing less stressful than working in a skilled nursing facility?

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

6 hours ago, moomin said:

I am curious about Home Health. I am a new LVN with 3.5 months experience. How much experience is recommended before entering HH? What does a HH LVN do vs. a HH RN? Is home health nursing less stressful than working in a skilled nursing facility?

I'm very glad to hear that you're considering home health, as an LPN / LVN. You guys are in such great demand right now, and will be for a long, long time. 

Re experience, it depends on the state you're in. California requires 1 year of experience for RNs but I don't know if they have the same requirements for LVNs, however don't give up for that reason because many agencies will help train you as it is to their benefit to do so

The HH LVN can do a lot of what the RN does, but you have different levels of responsibility in some situations. For example, if you're doing wound care, you and the RN would both be doing the same wound care, If you were doing med management, the same there too. You or the RN would be going through the patient's meds, filling in their med boxes, providing patient teaching about meds, etc. You'd be doing the same if you were working on disease management where you'd be seeing a patient because of a specific disease they have. The RN would do the same. What mostly differs is when there is an intake or a discharge. LPNs don't do that. 

So as you can see from my response, an LPN can do a lot in home health. Also don't be afraid of whether you'd be able to teach the patient, etc. If you take your tablet or laptop etc with you, the software will be in the program you guys use and all the teaching and other info would be there. 

As for stress, yes it generally is much less stressful, but also keep in mind that you'd be working alone, and there's no one you can call out to if you have a question, or if you need a CNA or another nurse to help you. You do have your agency and access to people you can talk to on the phone though, so it's worth a try. Plus you'd probably make significantly more money, and you'd be able to self schedule, take a day off when you feel like it, etc. 

Good luck! 

ilovecake, LPN

Specializes in Home Health.

I am a care coordinator LVN for a home health agency and also do field work intermittently.  Home health can be less stressful than working in a facility since you schedule the time you see your patients at home and you can focus on one patient at a time.  You do need to be able to work independently since there is no RN overseeing you at the home, but you can always call RN case managers in the office to guide you for any issues.  The main difference between a home health LVN and RN is that only RN's open cases/does the full assessment and develops the plan of care that the LVN will follow. Also, only they can do IV's at homes (I know LVN's can do IV hydration in some facilities). Otherwise, a RN or LVN can make follow up visits (wound care, insulin injections, med teaching, catheters, etc...). The pay is different for LVN and RN. I've seen up to $80-100 for a RN opening/assessment, $50-60 for RN follow up visits, and $30-40.00 for LVN follow up visits.