I suppose I am partly to blame- I've worked for a new start-up before 5 years ago, got fooled by the castles they were building in the air, then got screwed 3 months later when inept management caused the business to sink faster than the Titanic in the North Sea....
So, in October, after spending a year in the ICU as a new grad so I can prepare myself for the "fun and relaxing" job in Labor and Delivery I had dreamt as a nursing student, then leaving L & D after orientation because I could not stand the high pressure, ignore-the-patient-and-watch-the-machine environment, I agreed to work for the new start-up home health agency a coworker was starting.
Her husband is a PTA, she is an RN with no home health experience. After my three months of hell I thought it would be great to sit in an office all day, research vendors for the agency's needs, and eventually segueway into doing Q/A and Coding RN type stuff. Part-time, plenty of time to work on my writing, no weekends, no evenings, no holidays. Right. I took classes offered by the state on Oasis. I did Oasis training CD-ROMS. I attended a conference given by the state home care association. I was the only one doing this- they said- "it's easy, anyone could figure it out". My coworker and her husband, meanwhile, continued to work 50-60 hours a week at their other jobs to pay for the business. My coworker, who was supposed to be "doing all the patient care- you can stay more in the office", never shadowed a home health nurse- I did. That was after it became apparent I was the only RN with time to see a patient. Not saying one 6 hour shadow is sufficient.
Do we know the proper procedure for obtaining orders? Now, after our third patient, they thought they have figured it out, long after I started becoming very worried that we were in way over our heads. Of course, they're getting pissy now that I'm asking for mileage, especially since I drive an hour to get to the office already. They had told me before "we'll take care of it". Now it's, "we don't have the money and no one told you you would be paid mileage". Before it was "go the extra mile, show the patient extra love", now it's a start-of-care visit should only take 60 minutes even if you've never done this before. I'm pretty sure there is no chance in hell they'll pass initial survey, and I'm worrying too that something will cause me to lose my license.
Yeah, I walked right into this one....the only good thing I can say is I genuinely enjoy being with patients in their home (similar to my old mental health job) and think I've found my niche.
I just feel like a loser and a failure, since I know for sure I will have to leave this job- who wants to hire a job-hopper?
Feb 10, '07
Don't be so quick to get dragged down by the negativity of the situation. You have gained valuable experiences that will be valued by any home health agency. There are never enough field nurses, most agencies will hire an RN as soon as your signature is dry on the job app. You have knowledges and experience that qualify you to do an admin job, if offered one. Start going to the agencies. As far as having a flexible schedule, you can make that happen too.
Oh, and I forgot to add: one local agency in my area is so desperate for RNs that one of their incentives that they advertise is an extensive orientation for nurses who have not worked hh before.
Last edit by caliotter3 on Feb 10, '07
: Reason: Added thought
Feb 10, '07
You're not a fool. Getting a job and being able to remain in in it these days is risky business. Believe me, I know. I'm currently into my fourth one since last April. I left the first one after three months when I was ordered to keep my mouth shut by the higher-ups who reinstated a nurse who had knowingly committed Medicare fraud, was fired from my temporary job after only three weeks back in August for "not meeting productivity" after being told by my preceptor that "there wasn't any", and left another temporary job for a government one in November, because the owner was nuttier than a fruitcake. After being told by three bright and shiny faces at my interview that my current job would only involve "25 percent travel", I have discovered that it is more like over 50 percent. Both of the nurses I am traveling with have the personalities of wet rags, and one of them actually brought her dog with her to the audit site this week...and left it in the car, crying and yelping. I couldn't believe it. Even one of the doctors who is being audited was concerned enough to straight out ask her if her dog was all right, and she answered, smiling: "Oh, I do it all the time". How stupid and inhumane was that??
My sister told me this afternoon that I needed to quit and go to work at Wal-Mart. I'm not physically able to stand on my feet, because of my arthritic back. They probably wouldn't hire me anyway, because I've become unemployable due to my own job-hopping. I've also become increasingly intolerant of the blatant and radiant incompetence of Corporate America, made even worse by my own health problems...and if I go anywhere, it's going to be on permanent disability. I have an appointment with one of my specialists on Valentine's Day, where I intend to get the ball rolling.
Again, you are NOT a fool. Find yourself something else...before you really wind up getting burned.
Last edit by CseMgr1 on Feb 10, '07
Feb 10, '07
It sounds like you have gained some good experience. Have you considered started your own agency? Does your state allow independent nurses? That might be another option....
Feb 11, '07
do not beat yourself up. you tried to be a good friend and they are the ones who were unprepared. the good thing with nursing is that at the next job, the explanation "it wasn't a good fit for me" is valid. we always move around in nursing. use the excuse of it being your first year! say you really enjoy home care but you want an established agency.
[color=#483d8b]do your research before accepting your next hh job. try to talk to nurses there. and know that you did your best in trying to help your friends, they will learn the hard way.. good luck!!!
Feb 11, '07
Thank you Ladies! I am feeling less wretched today, but am still anxious about going in tomorrow and facing them after our showdown Friday over mileage reimbursement and length of SOC visits...they really are convinced they have everything under control and will probably feel the need to punish me for my "disloyalty". My husband has already said he will have no problem if I never go in again, though. If I wasn't worried about my patients I would probably be telling them goodbye, but, barring something else occurring, a few more weeks of hell...
Does anyone know how long a typical orientation is at an agency? I know I've been seeing a few patients but I still feel very strongly that I have a lot to learn. I also want to know how agencies handle skill development- I'm not great when it comes to blood draws or stiicks- almost no one had peripherals in the ICU...
Feb 16, '07
try to go with a JCAHO certified agency. It really does make a difference. Your paperwork will have to be perfect but you'll pick it up and at least ypu'll know it's a reputable agency.
Feb 20, '07
Sometimes you have no choice about hopping to another job. You realize the mistake and need to move on. There are too many start ups in home health. Pay for performance will put a stop to some of the glut (gluttony?) of home health companies popping up all over in the last couple of years. Getting out of a bad job can be positive and think about all of the things you have learned to avoid in the future.
There is a better job waiting for you.
Feb 24, '07
Please do not go back to that agency. If you are unsure as to whether you are covered by doctor's orders or have things obtained incorrectly, they will not be paid anyway by the insurance and you will be wasting your time there.
As somone in another post stated, it is not unusual for nurses to move from job to job until we find the right fit. Things happen in healthcare that necessitate your movement. My dear, you will find that right job but protect your license. If you lose it, these people will not be there to assist in paying your bills. There is no friendship in this one; it is call survival.
Feb 24, '07
I agree...get out! You currently have two very important letters after your name that keep job hopping from being a big ordeal if you can explain your process when asked. Losing those two letters means you just may have to work at WalMart. Because I traveled, I have a resume that reads like a book, but most employers find it intrigueing. In fact, I just landed a job as Director of Patient Care Services for a large HH agency without previous management experience. My advice, be confident in yourself and your own skills and let everyone else worry about themselves. This may sound contradictory to my Christian values, but in health care, you have license to seek until you find what you like because there is this little thing called a shortage.
Feb 24, '07
I agree,ANOTHERMADHATTER. I was recently laid off from a visiting nurse position for a home health agency. I was very sad about it but have now landed a great job as the home care coordinator for a new long term care program. It is the varied experiences that made my resume look attractive.
These are not your friends if they cannot understand you protecting your license. Unless you have a financial stake in this organization to make it work, do not go back on Monday or you may be really putting yourself at risk.
Mar 2, '07
Well, it's been two weeks since I left. I've not gotten any bites in home health and I've called every agency in the phone book. Had one interview but the position wasn't for enough hours. I sent an application to a local hospital for ICU last night and was called for an interview today. It's not a bad place to work, just not fond of 12s and Q3rd weekend stuff. Oh well- that's the world of nursing....