Is Home Health for me?

  1. I graduated last May, completed Critical Care Internship and have been on my own for 8 months. Sometimes I really love it and then other times (most of the time) I'm scared to death. I'm wanting a job that works around taking kids to school and picking them up. Right now I'm working 11p-7a which works out great, but I'm not sure I'm in the right spot. I did a Home Health rotation in school and I really didn't enjoy going to strange places, but now I'm having second thoughts. Being a new nurse I wanted a job to tweak my skills. Is home health for me? Being out on your own and not really having a backup opinion worrys me. I'd appreciate any and all advice on the Home health field. Hours, Pay, On-call, types of patients etc.

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    About RN4TX

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 3
    ICU RN


  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    If you really didn't enjoy going into strange places as a student, what will change that thinking now? You are on their turf, see some unbelievable home conditions, with much more demanding "you owe ME" attitude, even from senior citizens.

    What makes you scarred to depth in ICU---you have BACKUP in the hospital. Totally on your own in Home health although most docs will work much better with you and rely on your judgments.

    Takes 1-2 years to be comfortable--still sense new RN jitters. Eval what's making you uncomfortable before you make the jump to another position---seem to be in your best interest. Recommended signing up for as many in-services and joining AACN to network before you make a move.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Apr 25, '03
  4. by   CardioTrans
    Is home health for you?? hmmmmmmmmm There is a motto that I have learned in the 12 yrs that I have done home health........ you either love it or you hate it.

    There is tons of paperwork, lots of rules and regulations, lots of driving, lots of homes that are less than desireable, and you dont have anyone to help hold the leg for a dressing change or someone else to try and draw blood or restart the IV. Then on the other hand, you become part of the family, you can teach the family and/or patient about their disease, meds etc. and allow them to be able to stay in their home.

    There is no one sure way to be able to tell if home health is for you until you have done it. As far as the types of diseases, you can literally see everything....... CHF, COPD, DM, HTN, Cancer, Fx bones, organ transplant patients, wounds deep enough to put your hand in. It is a wide variety of things that you can see. IV's IM injections, med teaching, wound vacs......... the list can go on and on.........

    The pay varies depending on what part of the country you are in, and can be paid per visit, or salary....... some places pay mileage, and I have seen some that dont. I have been out at a patients home at 2 am for an on call visit, and have worked 12-14 hr days at times ( or longer).......... Every agency and patient load is different.

    Think about the decision long and hard before you make it........ its a totally different world than the hospital.

    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
  5. by   renerian
    I cannot say more than has just been posted. Very well said.

  6. by   CraftyLPN
    There's nothing more too add. I agree w/ renerian....
  7. by   RN4TX
    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Since I work 7 on 7 off I think I'll see if I can ride with a HH nurse on my week off and see how it goes. That's the great thing about nursing there are so many different fields to choose from. If I don't like it, I still have my other job at the hospital.

    Thanks again for the replys
  8. by   renerian
    Good idea RN.