New to home health

  1. Hi everyone. This is my first post on allnurses. I have been lurking for about a month now. I am starting a home health position on 8/12, and wondering if anyone has any tips for me.
    We use laptops. I have 2+ years exp. in med/surg and oncology. Also have my OCN, so I hope to have some onc. pts.
  2. Visit Tahoe RN profile page

    About Tahoe RN

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 2
    home health RN, oncology exp.


  3. by   LoisJean
    Welcome aboard, Tahoe! Keep us posted. I suggest that you take some good, deep breaths on your first day. Keep the mental picture of your patients first in your mind, and the vision of the paper work second. Hope you come to love it as much as the rest of us do who subscribe to this site!
    Don't hesitate to use this arena to ask questions or to just vent- we are here for you.

  4. by   CANRN
    HI I'm new to home health as well! Still work in the hospital but on a part time basis, I'm helping a staffing agency get their ducks in a row to start a home health division. Oh my gosh! So many regs!! LOL
    I'm actually looking forward to our first patient! When I was a CNA I worked home health and fell in love with it. It never felt like I was going to 'work', more like visiting grandma! VERY rewarding work!
    I'm hoping as a nurse, it will be just as rewarding! Lois, your post made my dad! Thanks,!
  5. by   marvic
    You will love home health!!!
    Yes, there is a learning curve for the paperwork, but that is every venue that you choose to learn. Whenever you work for clients that receive state or federal funding, you are at the mercy of the regulations that require lots of documentation.
    However, that aside, there is no better place to teach and develop a personalized plan to enhance health than in the patients home.
    Over the past 30 years I have at times felt like Sherlock Holmes, trying to figure out exactly why the patient wasn't responding to certain therapies as expected. Many times I found that they were taking medicine from other doctors that they didn't initially share with me, or they ate things that "didn't count" so they did not inform me during assessment/interviews, etc.
    THere is nothing more satisfying than taking care of someone at home and assisting them in developing the skills necessary to stay at home safely. Also, a good nurse will be able to move them towards habits that will enhance their life quality.
    I love home health!
    I have been in acute hosp, acute rehab, out patient rehab, nursing home and sub acute.
    I am now the director of an agency with three offices. I do the hiring and training, and I Still go and see patients, because it is just so satisfying.
    Good luck!!
  6. by   CardioTrans
    Hi there!!!!!!!!!

    Well, where do I start??? lol

    I have done home health for almost 11 yrs....... I have seen a world of changes with the Medicare guidelines and cutbacks........ I have also worked in hospitals......... but my heart always comes back to home health.

    To help you out in your new position.......... you need to know a few basics.......

    DETAIL ORIETNED and keep your car in great shape and have a cell phone

    Seriously, there is so much to learn in Home Health with the paperwork, what Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance will or will not pay for.......... that all comes with time, a good preceptor and research

    You have to be detail oriented, and very organized. You have to keep up with POC, when to do "recerts", track lab results, and if you case manage, you need to keep up with therapies that may be in a patients home, MSWs, aides etc.

    Home Health has wonderful benefits of actually feeling like you are helping the patient. Sometimes you are the only person that see these patients and you are the doctors eyes and ears. You get attached to these patients and become part of their family. Most agencies dont allow you to take gifts from patients, so watch out when you have your back turned, the patients have a tendency to slip things in your bag ranging from fresh tomatoes from their garden, to knitted things they have made, and at christmas little christmas gifts. The smile on their faces when you do nothing more than bring them a little cupcake on their birthday, to a little pin with a hummingbird on it cuz they collect them is what makes home health all worth the long days of driving and piles of paperwork.

    I wish you the best of luck with your Home Health career and I hope that you come to love it as I have over the years. feel free to email me with any questions you may have......... I have tons of links!!
  7. by   sjsap
    I am also new to home health as an RN, though I did it about 20 years ago as an NA. Such changes! The paperwork is overwhelming- I have been out in the field for 2 months now and it is getting a little easier, but my goodness! My biggest trouble is how do you determine frquencies and lenght of time the frequency nedds to be? Is there a standard- like "for postops see them 3 times a week for x weeks?" Does anyon eknow of any good websites for this kind of information? My new employer is of the "learn as you go" mindset. Thank you!
  8. by   renerian
    Been in home health 11 years....lots of paper but for you lots of computer time both in initial and added data entries.........if you are autonomous in nature you will love .........tons of phone time....

  9. by   luvncare
    I too am new to this site and have really enjoyed reading the posts! I have done home health now for 7 years and thru all the changes and headaches, still consider this "my thing". There is no other nursing in my opinion ( I've done hospital nursing, office nursing, and speciality clinics) that can offer so much self gratification and allow me to do what I went into nursing to do--to deliver good, quality, holistic care. My advice? I find most of the new nurses to our agency want to know it all RIGHT NOW! Because there is SOOOOO much to learn and every instance is a learning experience, you have got to give yourself a good 3-6 months for things to even start to make sense. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't come togeather right away. I promise it will. Hopefully you will have a good preceptor who is knowledeable in home health, an adequate orientation period, and a good support system when you do set off on your own. Best of Luck to you!!