For me, it truly depends upon the client and your ability to concentrate. I personally, have been a home health patient before becoming a home health nurse, and it is very awkward to have a nurse just sitting there staring at her device typing away. As a nurse, I have noticed that it makes some of my clients uneasy as well.. when you are charting, unless you are very, VERY good at multi tasking, your not speaking to the client and staring at your computer screen... Some clients I have though, enjoy my presence and I enjoy their's and I have no issues in charting my visits while in the home. This is where, as a home health nurse, your powers of observation and your ability to to be efficient come into play. If you can read the client correctly, it can make everyone's job much easier. I have taken complaints from clients about other nurses before, and the majority of them state that the nurse was "impersonal" and didnt interact much because they were too busy staring at the device or computer. As we all know in Home Health, if we make the client angry or upset about something, it makes everyone else's job much harder and you set yourself up for the client to be "non-compliant" with plans of care. If its an easy visit with no issues, I will usually chart my narrative out in the car immediately after my visit, if there is alot of concerns to be addressed, I may just type a quick note regarding my findings for easy access, and just incomplete it until I can gather my thoughts for charting later, especially if I need to message docs or other clinicians regarding the client and I am needing feedback.
While it may be "better" to chart IN a visit, ultimately, the client is the variable. What is best for them at that moment. Being flexible is a key element to be successful as a home health nurse, IMO.