Could a recent graduate do home health?

  1. I tried to get responses within another thread to no avail. Hope someone will be able to give me some advice.
    I am 55 and graduated last Dec. Hospital nursing was very frustrating -- either too many patients (18) or, in another hospital, too little orientation (5 days with a preceptor). I haven't worked in 3 months now because I'm wondering what went wrong and should I just give it up. However, several friends and past fellow students have encouraged me to get into home health because I have very good client relationship skills and just need the opportunity to learn the ropes (especially paperwork). The Dept. of Health is hiring home health nurses right now and, if I'm reading the requirements correctly, does not list experience as necessary.
    However, (sorry this is so long) what do you that are in home health think about someone with no experience getting into it. Will it be another frustrating experience? Will I get an orientation?
    Thanking all of you who take the time to answer.
  2. Visit csiln profile page

    About csiln

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 45

    16 Comments

  3. by   cookie102
    Quote from csiln
    I tried to get responses within another thread to no avail. Hope someone will be able to give me some advice.
    I am 55 and graduated last Dec. Hospital nursing was very frustrating -- either too many patients (18) or, in another hospital, too little orientation (5 days with a preceptor). I haven't worked in 3 months now because I'm wondering what went wrong and should I just give it up. However, several friends and past fellow students have encouraged me to get into home health because I have very good client relationship skills and just need the opportunity to learn the ropes (especially paperwork). The Dept. of Health is hiring home health nurses right now and, if I'm reading the requirements correctly, does not list experience as necessary.
    However, (sorry this is so long) what do you that are in home health think about someone with no experience getting into it. Will it be another frustrating experience? Will I get an orientation?
    Thanking all of you who take the time to answer.
    everyone has to start at sometime, as long as you have strong clinical skills i think you will be fine in homehealth, at my agency we tell new staff that we indivualize orientation to the nurse, most, even those without HH exp. will be able to see a few pts on their own in 2-3 weeks, there is always time to learn the paper work., everyday something changes and we all are learning. it takes a good 6-12 months to really understand all the guidelines. good luck and welcome to HH
  4. by   ShirazRN
    Hi cslin,

    I think I am in a similar boat as yourself. I graduated in April, passed the NCLEX in July and began a New Grad program in July in the ED. I fear I have made a terrible mistake in my choice of specialty. I am also wondering about home health. I envision it as an area where I can have more meaningful patient contact, as well as escaping the hectic nature of the ED. I expected the ED to be crazy but did not think I would be expected to care for such critically ill patients with such limited experience. Also, the charge nurses breathe down my neck constantly to call report on patients to get them off the floor, not asking if I am perhaps prioritizing among all my patients, in which case the time needed to call report is not first on my list (the patient I just gave morphine to and need to re-vitalize, for instance, would be). The doctors pressure me to be fast and I'm still learning good IV skills. I fear I jeapordize the patients' safety and/or my license almost daily. I'm wondering if I am just thinking of Home Health through rosy glasses. The person who answered you said you would do fine with good cliinical skills. I'm not sure mine are that good yet, I'm a new grad. I wonder if it's possible to get into home health as a new grad with lots of room for learning. Anyone else with further sage advice I would appreciate it. Thank you in advance.

    Susan
  5. by   FirstYear2005
    I am glad someone started this thread.

    Is it possible for a psych nurse to eventually go into HH ?
  6. by   hammerkins
    cslin,
    I too am a fairly recent grad (May 2005), I spent over a year on a general surgery floor and have recently swiched to home health. I have found it to be very rewarding. Having the one on one pt care is wonderful compared to managing 7-8 patients on the floor, but there is still a lot of stress involved. It has taken a while to get the paperwork and charting together but the most important things I have found are excellent assessment skills, follow thru and a true desire to help the patient. If you posess these qualities then go fot it!!! So far I love it.
  7. by   Jo Dirt
    I graduated in March 2006 and got my license a month later. I started in home health and have been in it almost 7 months.
    I got no orientation, they just handed me some papers and sent me on my way, but luckily I'm good at paperwork and the boss is pretty forgiving if you mess up.
    I'm now looking to get out of nursing altogether but I don't blame home health because of it.
  8. by   eddy
    The best HH nurses have a pretty diverse background. Homebound patients really depend on HH nurses to spot a number of issues that a nurse specializing in only a specific arena might miss. Not to say you can't be a very good HH nurse straight out of school, but I do believe that you can really benefit by putting in some time in some other areas first. Plus, should you change your mind and wish to go into "facility" nursing again, you'll want to have that experience on your resume. For reasons I will never understand, hiring managers in hospitals really discount HH nurses' abilities. Pure ignorance, but what can you do...
  9. by   Narcoleptic Nurse
    I hanve been a home health nurse for over 15 years now. I have seen new grads get hired in a few instances but not often. you need some solid background, and common sense helps because you are out there alone. Can a psych nurse make the transition? absolutely if you have other nursing skills with wounds and phlebotomy as well. I did 3 years of Chemical dependency nursing before I went to home health and it has been invaluable to understanding the dependency/codependency you find in the real world. Home health is the best for nursing, just don't think it is "easier". The paper work is mind numbing, the travel can be life threatening and homes can leave you with nightmares. You will use everything you ever learned.
  10. by   Wgbem
    I have been a nurse for 18 years, 4 of which are now in home care. I have done various things in those years that have prepared me with the assessment skills I now possess. I would not recommend going into home care without at least 2 years of hospital nursing. You are out there alone and families count on you and your expertise to be able to assess problems as they arise. Those assessment skills are built through the various in house work experiences you go through. In home care there are no coworkers, no equipment, just you and the patient.

    While I think home care is great, I think you will get frustrated with no hands on experience coupled with limited experience with charting. The paperwork can also be frustrating. That alone can cause you to quit. When working in the hospital you learn and develop a system for managing all of that. The home care field is not the best place to develop that.

    Give the hospital 2 years then think about home care. Good luck.
  11. by   caliotter3
    My area is home health after experience in LTC. It basically was sink or swim in the beginning, a lot of playing it by ear so to speak. Your people skills are very important because when you first go to meet the patient and the family, you find yourself being interviewed extensively about your qualifications, so you have to be able to balance "selling" yourself and being honest about your limitations. This holds especially true with peds patients. I am as upfront as I can be on the get acquainted, first visit. Sometimes we (I mean self, patient, and family) together can tell immediately that it will not be a good fit. Sometimes you have to gently let the family know that they can not be so "picky" about who the agency sends out. It all depends on the individual situation, diagnosis, how long has this patient been in home care, if at all, how many agencies (and nurses) have they "been through", etc., etc. You have to do your homework before you go out for the first visit. Look at the Form 485, the MAR, any available documentation, talk to the supervisor nurse or any other nurse who is familiar with the pt. It is best if your employing agency will let you orient with a seasoned HH nurse for a bit, just so you get the hang of things. Maybe a session with the supervisor. The best way to do things, is to orient with an established nurse on an established case for the shift you will be assigned to (or the type of intermittent visits you will be responsible for). If you start out right with the right agency and co-workers, you can find HH very rewarding. How can you beat doing your best for one patient and one patient's family. Very hard to top the satisfaction you can get.
    I forgot to say that most of the time, as in all areas, you will be told that you must have a minimum of experience before you will even be considered for the position. With the right preceptor, you can be "trained for the case" right out of nursing school as long as you can establish a level confidence base and are provided with a good support system. I've seen it done, so I know it's possible.
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Dec 19, '06 : Reason: Added thought
  12. by   Cattitude
    Quote from csiln
    i tried to get responses within another thread to no avail. hope someone will be able to give me some advice.
    i am 55 and graduated last dec. hospital nursing was very frustrating -- either too many patients (18) or, in another hospital, too little orientation (5 days with a preceptor). i haven't worked in 3 months now because i'm wondering what went wrong and should i just give it up. however, several friends and past fellow students have encouraged me to get into home health because i have very good client relationship skills and just need the opportunity to learn the ropes (especially paperwork). the dept. of health is hiring home health nurses right now and, if i'm reading the requirements correctly, does not list experience as necessary.
    however, (sorry this is so long) what do you that are in home health think about someone with no experience getting into it. will it be another frustrating experience? will i get an orientation?
    thanking all of you who take the time to answer.
    i tend to agree with the several here who basically said it may be difficult at best. i had 7 yrs. hospital exp. (med/surg & sicu) before home health and that proved invaluable. i've had 1 pt with a very difficult trach issue, others with problem g tubes, slow picc's, etc. many, many times i was very glad for my prior hospital experience as i would have been a very nervous home care nurse on several occasions

    beez

  13. by   pagandeva2000
    I just became an LPN this June, and am doing a private home care case one day a week. I prefer homecare better to working in any facility, but will remain at my hospital for at least two years to gain experience.
  14. by   AmPmRnoncall
    2 things to ask on your interview. "how long is orientation?" (which should be no shorter that 4 weeks) and up to a year with a mentor. #2 "what is the service area I am expected to cover?" (you sould only be expected to do 4-5 visits per day. EXPECT LOTS OF PAPERWORK.. and don't get frustrated to easily. takes time.

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