Now you all are making me scared!

  1. I'm in the last quarter of my first year of nursing and have been working in the ICU. I've been thinking of switching jobs, and have been researching home health care. It appeals to me for it's more family-friendly hours and the autonomous and independent nature of the job.

    I've talked to people who look fondly back at their time in home health, and I've read some great posts by nurses who seem to love their jobs. But lately, I'm reading more and more horror stories about the field. I don't want to make a big mistake with this move, and end up even more unhappy with my next job.

    Any advice?
  2. Visit RipeTomato profile page

    About RipeTomato

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 23; Likes: 17
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in ICU


  3. by   nursynurseRN
    Don't leave ICU just yet. Get a perdiem hh job and see if you like it first. That way you can make an informed decision.
  4. by   lovinlife11
    I agree with nursy, lots of opportunities for per diem to test drive before you jump in. Good luck!
  5. by   RipeTomato
    Thanks nursy and lovin, that's a really good idea.
  6. by   lovingtheunloved
    I love home health.
  7. by   paradiseboundRN
    I loved home health when I started 10 years ago but it has changed a lot. People love it or hate it. Try it per Diem first. Although you're actually seeing patients only between 9-5, you'll be doing a lot of documentation during the evenings and that does cut into your family time. Don't jump in totally until you've tried it.
  8. by   I<3H2O
    I love home health but I don't think 1 year in the ICU is going to be enough experience for HH. sorry.
  9. by   erika.RN
    I disagree about tje experience. I was a LTC LPN for 5 years and was a RN in a clinic for a year ajd went into HH. I am still learning, but what burse isn't every day? I love my job and flexibility it offers.
  10. by   lovingtheunloved
    I spent all of my career prior to home health in LTC. I've done very well in home health. Any skill can be learned.
  11. by   jammycakesRN
    I worked in physicians offices during nursing school as a float nurse & my very first official job as a RN was with home health. I haven't had any problems whatsoever with my clinical skills. Now the paperwork nightmare is a whole other story, but I LOVE everything else about home health.
  12. by   KountryPrincess
    I agree with getting more hospital experience, I would aim for at least 2-3 years acute care experience. People who do homecare without that experience will tell you they do fine, but they do not know how they would perform differently if they had the experience, because they never got it. In short, you don't know what you don't know. As for the suggestions to do HH per diem to "try it out", that really doesn't work well in practice. The reason is, you need to work consistently and often to properly learn OASIS documentation. It depends on the agency of course, but per diems typically work sporadically and often on weekends. Our agency will not hire per diems without OASIS experience because they just do not work often enough to learn to do it well. They will hire case managers and part time staff without OASIS experience because they will be working often enough, and during regular business hours so they can get regular guidance from supervisors and QI on how to properly do it. At first glance, OASIS seems like a no brainer, but it actually takes a couple of years IME to be proficient at it. If you gather OASIS info incorrectly, your agencies outcomes will be screwed up. Learning to do OASIS honestly and accurately is the key to an agency making money. Medicare fraud is rampant in homecare, and nurses that can collect OASIS info correctly and accurately to reflect the good outcomes at an agency are worth their weight in gold. Additionally, there is always more to learn about it, changes in interpretation etc. occur at least monthly with the have to keep up to stay good at your job. What shocked me about homecare when I first started was that *all* my charting was reviewed with a fine tooth comb....not just OASIS. A good agency will do that, because that is what the state, the feds, and JCAHO will do. Ultimately, if I were you I would stick it out in acute care for another year or so, and start doing reasearch on finding a really good HH agency to apply to. Then go for it, get a part or full time position and give it a shot. Trust me, you will be glad you paid your dues in the hospital and you will be more confident and really enjoy all that a good agency has to offer it's nurses, and you will be on a new learning journey.....the world of medicare and can be a bit daunting at first, but you can fully concentrate on it because your clinical skills will be finely tuned already. Good luck!