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Home Health Nursing and Covid - better or worse?

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Has 31 years experience.

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There are many posts about nurses working LTC or in hospitals and covid, but I haven't seen any (maybe I missed it or didn't search correctly) in regards to Home Health Nurses and Covid - the concerns, if nurses in home health feel "safer" than in another clinical setting etc. 

I assume most home health nurses are wearing PPE when going into a home (or should be in my humble opinion) but I'm still interested in if nurses feel less stressed/safer in this venue than they would in a hospital/LTC setting.

Has anyone left a home health job because of covid?

Thanks in advance for replies. 

I work PRN for a HH agency - been with one family for 7+ years now.  I am not afraid to go into their home - probably safer there than my regular job as a school nurse.

The parents of my patient are strict with visitors inside their home and where they take their child in public and they have always been honest with me if someone in the house has the flu, been ill etc.  I am not worried about being exposed to Covid while inside their home.  They are not too worried about me exposing them either - they know I work as a school nurse during the week, heck even mom is a teacher so they are well aware of the risk.  

I wear a mask for my entire shift, do my usual of always wearing gloves when warranted and of course frequent handwashing.   I have gowns, face shields etc available to use if needed but it is not required unless doing a procedure that would require wearing full PPE. 

To be honest there are times I am probably more anxious about the possibility of me exposing them to Covid than the other way around where I get it from them.   

 

There is a forum section for home health, "visit" nursing, and "private duty", extended care nursing, where you might find input regarding working in the home environment with Covid as a factor.

I have been told by the DPCS that the agency has lost business because some clients refuse to have nurses enter their homes because of where else they "might have been".  Home health nurses that I have spoken to have stated that they refuse to allow the clients to limit their ability to earn a living and they won't limit themselves to only one client.  This, of course, pertains to extended care home health.  Intermittent visit nursing, by virtue of the definition, consists of visits to several homes during the course of the workday.  This would not preclude such clients from also refusing service for the same reason.

Pat r

Specializes in Home health RN pediatrics and adults. Has 40 years experience.

I have done pediatric ICU and adult medsurg.  I have been in home health for 26 years.  I have been confronted with knives, guns, physical assault, vicious dogs, and etc. In the home and hospital settings.  This has not swayed my love of nursing until this past year.  Covid has been difficult in homecare due to unavailable PPE [agencies were turned away from needed supplies by suppliers], no means/testing for covid in the home, and refusal of family to distance or mask.  We have very little control and the state I live in did not place us on the higher priority list for the vaccine.  I went to another state to get it, as my company has offices there.  People come in and out of their home and do not practice precautions.  Despite the trials of the year, I still love my profession and remain optimistic for the future.