I'm tickeled about Home Health Nursing!!!

  1. It seems like the dream job for me. I talked to a HHC nurses last week and went on rounds with one of them today and I really think HHC is for me when I graduate. Probably Hosipce HHC. I'm happy to realize that I know where I want to work when I'm done in 15 weeks....BUT....

    I was too shy to ask the nurse I was with today what the starting pay is :imbar . I really don't think she would have been able to answer that anyhow being that she has been with them for 17 years. I know that recruiters in this area don't like to answer those types of Q's over the ohone either. So, i was hoping you peeps may know, ballpark figures...for Springfield or Chicago Illinois...


    TIA!
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  2. Visit raindrop profile page

    About raindrop

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 548; Likes: 198
    from US

    15 Comments

  3. by   Hairstylingnurse
    Hi Raindrop, wish I could help you with the hourly rate but it depends on the agency, your location, your experience and etc. I realize you are a soon to be grad. HH is absolutely awesome, but you should know that being a new grad. can be scary because you are on youer own alot. Even though you are only a phone call away from a superviser, you have to have awesome assessment skills that you would usually get on a med-surg floor your first year after school. Did this nurse (that you rode along with?) talk to you about that? You will see alittle bit of everything in HH. Assessing a CHF pt. can be scary for a new nurse. I had to call an ambulance for a elderly diabetic that was suffering from hyperglycemic episode and was worried that I was over-reacting by calling 911. I couldn't get a hold of the supervisor (that was scary for me). I called her m.d. and explained her situation, that she was somewhat confused, couldn't remember if she had eaten or taken her insulin. (much longer story so I will spare you).But my point is sometimes you are all alone out there. So really brush up on all your skills and get some good books on assessment and disease process and a really good drug book. All day long you'll be reminding pts. what they are taking and what irt is for. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  4. by   alintanurse
    Hi Raindrop! You also need to keep in mind that you must have a good car as you will be putting alot of mileage on it. Plus,you may go into some areas that may be in the "bad part of town." Home health is great but,there are some downsides too!
  5. by   cherricka
    Most places require that you have at least one year of acute care experience (medical surgical). I would definately make sure you had that, even if they don't require it. What you learn in school, is different than the real world. The real education begins when you graduate! I did my med/surg, and after one year (on the dot), I got the heck out of there. I took about a $2 cut in pay, which was so well worth it. It is a great job if you have small children because of the flexibility. Good luck, and make sure you take the boards as soon as you can. Many people make the mistake of waiting, or saying they think they should get some work experience. Remember, sometimes what you learn on the med/surg floor, is not the way it will be presented on the boards, so many errors may be made. In my graduating class, the people who did not pass were the one's who waited. Just some words of advice. That and a quarter will only get you a phone call, LOL.
  6. by   alintanurse
    Quote from Hairstylingnurse
    Hi Raindrop, wish I could help you with the hourly rate but it depends on the agency, your location, your experience and etc. I realize you are a soon to be grad. HH is absolutely awesome, but you should know that being a new grad. can be scary because you are on youer own alot. Even though you are only a phone call away from a superviser, you have to have awesome assessment skills that you would usually get on a med-surg floor your first year after school. Did this nurse (that you rode along with?) talk to you about that? You will see alittle bit of everything in HH. Assessing a CHF pt. can be scary for a new nurse. I had to call an ambulance for a elderly diabetic that was suffering from hyperglycemic episode and was worried that I was over-reacting by calling 911. I couldn't get a hold of the supervisor (that was scary for me). I called her m.d. and explained her situation, that she was somewhat confused, couldn't remember if she had eaten or taken her insulin. (much longer story so I will spare you).But my point is sometimes you are all alone out there. So really brush up on all your skills and get some good books on assessment and disease process and a really good drug book. All day long you'll be reminding pts. what they are taking and what irt is for. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    sooo true! I can't imagine going into home health as a new grad,because of the autonomy issues. Home health has and can be overwhelming for an experienced nurse,there is a ton of paperwork. You definitely must give yourself at least 6-12 months to feel somewhat comfortable. I hope this works out for you.
  7. by   Wgbem
    Quote from Hairstylingnurse
    Hi Raindrop, wish I could help you with the hourly rate but it depends on the agency, your location, your experience and etc. I realize you are a soon to be grad. HH is absolutely awesome, but you should know that being a new grad. can be scary because you are on youer own alot. Even though you are only a phone call away from a superviser, you have to have awesome assessment skills that you would usually get on a med-surg floor your first year after school. Did this nurse (that you rode along with?) talk to you about that? You will see alittle bit of everything in HH. Assessing a CHF pt. can be scary for a new nurse. I had to call an ambulance for a elderly diabetic that was suffering from hyperglycemic episode and was worried that I was over-reacting by calling 911. I couldn't get a hold of the supervisor (that was scary for me). I called her m.d. and explained her situation, that she was somewhat confused, couldn't remember if she had eaten or taken her insulin. (much longer story so I will spare you).But my point is sometimes you are all alone out there. So really brush up on all your skills and get some good books on assessment and disease process and a really good drug book. All day long you'll be reminding pts. what they are taking and what irt is for. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    I agree with you. I have been a nurse for 18 years and it is the 18 years experience that I draw on when I am out in the field. I definitely suggest getting at least 1 year experience in med/surg before venturing into home care. As a matter of fact, most agencies request that.

    Don't take it off your radar though as we need good nurses to assist us out there.

    Good luck.
  8. by   renerian
    A previous posted informed you of sometimes going into unsafe areas. I have been chased, robbed twice and had a gun pulled on me in a patient's home so be aware of this safety stuff. I also when I did alot of visits put between 20,000 and 30,000 miles per year on my car.

    renerian]
  9. by   happthearts
    I was so thankful I waited before I went into HH and had experanced life first as a floor nurse When I finally got to hospice then I didn't freek-out when the PT started gagging On there fluids Or death was impending. I had experanced death by then and could comfort the familes and be there for them .Explaining this was all natural and this is what happens and all the changes .If you don't get rattled an can explain and be calm The family will be more calm too.

    Thats why its nice to experance life on a floor first
    You'll be the calmest nurse arround
  10. by   Hairstylingnurse
    Hi Raindrop, I was wondering if you could give us an update or are you still trying to make a decision? Let us know how it is going either way and good luck to ya.
  11. by   raindrop
    Hi goils'. I called my HHC agency in this area, and she finally called me back today. She left a message and said that she prefers that people have at minimum 2 years experience on Med/Surg, Cardiac, or ER or travel nurse with hospital assignments. I was kinda bummed out b/c I want to jump right into it, but I know that one day I will get there.

    I had told her by message that I've been a LPN for 5 years, and if that would account for anything after I grad in 14 weeks from RN. She didn't address that in the message she left today.

    Sooooooooo, all I can do is try. It would be a dream come true if I can get on right away. I will spice up my resume...and hope for the best.

    If I don't get on and have to wait the 2 years, I think I will become a traveling nurse.
  12. by   danursern
    Quote from raindrop
    Hi goils'. I called my HHC agency in this area, and she finally called me back today. She left a message and said that she prefers that people have at minimum 2 years experience on Med/Surg, Cardiac, or ER or travel nurse with hospital assignments. I was kinda bummed out b/c I want to jump right into it, but I know that one day I will get there.

    I had told her by message that I've been a LPN for 5 years, and if that would account for anything after I grad in 14 weeks from RN. She didn't address that in the message she left today.

    Sooooooooo, all I can do is try. It would be a dream come true if I can get on right away. I will spice up my resume...and hope for the best.

    If I don't get on and have to wait the 2 years, I think I will become a traveling nurse.
    Did you ever do LTC an if so was it skilled w/IV therapy? Also, have you any experience with trachs as LPN? If so put all the stuff your familiar with and skill you can do. Then if that is a hit make sure you get a good orientation.
  13. by   barefootlady
    A home health nurse needs a variety of skills and experience. Still there is no way to insure safety for yourself and some patients. I would get some experience in pure medical/surgical nursing before considering a HH job. Even with experience you are left to blow in the wind with some companies. I would be very careful about who I worked for in HH, the type of client I would mostly be exposed to, and realize the amount of time required to do all that is expected of you to do in HH. Give it a try if you feel that is your calling but be open minded and honest during the trial period. Make sure orientation is through and do not be afraid to say no when asked or instructed to perform a task you are not comfortable in your knowledge base in doing. Many HH companies are lying when they say they have too many clients and too little staff because of the nursing shortage. In reality there is a revolving door in HH, too much paperwork, too little pay, too little support from case managers cause many a good nurse to hit to door running. Sorry for the negative comments but I would never advise a new nurse to go into home health, too much risk to that license you worked so hard to earn.
  14. by   Claver
    I would add my voice to all of the others who suggest that you get 1-2 years of pure med-surg experience. In the home you are on your own - the coordinator in the office will depend on your ability to make an accurate assessment of the situation so that she can advise you - so you need to get this skill in place. Also you have to be very careful in going into the home and managing yourself in that environment - one example - I had a client who was very visually impaired - On my visit after checking his vital signs - he was in his bedroom - I placed my BP cuff and stetoscope on my work area on the table and went to wash my hands in the bathroom - by the time that I came back to the table the stetoscope had vanished - the aide swore that she did not see it - you also have to be careful with the external environment especially in high crime areas- and my favorite gripe - it kills your car - goodluck

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