POLL: Experience required for HH?

  1. hi all!

    i know this is a never-ending question that brings about some strong opinions! i have 8 months of med/surg exp and will be a camp nurse for 2 months. i'm not sure if i can go back to the hospital (hate it!) and was considering hh.

    in your opinion, what is the minimum (not ideal) amount of acute experience that should be req. for a hh rn?

    a) new grad

    b) 6-12 months

    c) 1-2 yrs

    d) > 2 yrs

    thanks in advance for any input!!!:spin:
  2. Visit LittleWing21 profile page

    About LittleWing21

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 171; Likes: 90
    Office RN; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Camp Nursing, Outpatient Pediatrics


  3. by   caliotter3
    Most agencies require one to two years acute care experience. There are those that will hire new grads, those that will hire with 6 months experience, those that will hire with long term care experience. If you want a job in home health, visit your local agencies and inquire/apply. Chances are high that you will be hired on the spot, depending on their current caseload and need for employees.
  4. by   paradiseboundRN
    B. 6-12 months
  5. by   RN1263
    B. 6-12 mos.

    I had 2 mos med/surg, 1 mos psych and several yrs of E.M.T. experience (yrs ago). for me it worked out just fine and I've been doing home health for 1 1/2 yrs now.....
  6. by   annaedRN
    I agree with above B. 6-12 months...but I've known a few good nurses who started out in HH and have done/adapted great...so I think like anything, that it really depends on the individual...some the minimum may be 6-12 months, some 2 yrs, some right away. It is said that it takes a minimum of 6 months to really start learning a job, so anything less than 6 months may be pointless to even go through it.
  7. by   KateRN1
    I think that a lot of it depends on the individual nurse, but I think a minimum of 6 months hospital or LTC experience is the least, better to have 1-2 years of general nursing experience. The rationale for my opinion: Nursing school generally does a good job of preparing you to sit NCLEX and gives you just enough knowledge of Ivory Tower Nursing to land a beginning job. It does not generally prepare one to be a independent provider. In that beginning job, you hone your skills, benefit from the experiences of your coworkers (good and bad), and develop your independent judgment. You learn how to manage your time, your attitude, and how to negotiate interpersonal relationships with other nurses, aides, therapists, physicians, etc. You learn when something just isn't right and you learn what things you can let go of and which you need to hold dear. Most facilities provide an extensive training program on policies and procedures, since few students run into every conceivable P&P during school.

    Home health, on the other hand, is *not* a beginning job and requires a very independent practitioner. You usually will not have someone right there with you to whom you can turn and say, "What is this funny heart sound?" You have to be able to trust your judgment and your skills and sometimes your intuition. You need to have experience with assessing patients of all kinds, in all kinds of situations. And to me, a big part of it is that when you've had experience in hospital, you know what sorts of care the patient is likely to have received--and not received. As hospital nurses, we do the best we can, but in areas of patient education, there's almost never enough time. Because of time constraints, the stress of hospitalization, med changes, etc., few patients come out of an acute stay with the kind of patient education that they need. That's a big gap that home health fills. Then there's the supervision angle. Unless you've had supervisory experience in your previous career, you need to learn the delicate art of supervision other nurses and nursing assistants. A couple of years in hospital or LTC can help prepare for that. There's a lot to home health, and I would suggest that anyone who is interested in it might try to see if they can shadow a home health nurse for a day or two, to get a good idea of the mix of skills required.

    So that's my two cents' worth, do with it what you will.
  8. by   LittleWing21
    Thanks everyone for all your great input! I just love this site