I am currently looking for a new nursing job. I have experience on a telemetry floor (also had a lot of post surgery/med surge type patients). And ER experience. I had never thought about HH, but I'm having no luck finding a position in the hospital right now. What do you like/not like about HH??
I guess my biggest fears are horror stories I have heard from peramedics about having to go into homes infested with bugs/mice/rats or so full of junk you can barely get into the house. Also, it kind of scares me to go into a strangers house by myself, just all of the stories you hear on the news these days. Maybe this all just depends on the area you are working in? Or maybe it's fears that I have that you don't really have to encounter in HH.
May 15, '09
I've been in every kind of home imaginable: from veritable palaces to literally tar paper shacks. I've been to a log cabin without indoor plumbing or running water that was so neat and tidy to fine homes that were teeming with grossness. You never know. Mostly the patients have been kind, interested in receiving services, with great family members or caregivers who were happy to have the help. There have also been those few who were not homebound (ran into them shopping at the local Wal-Mart :lol) or who thought that the CNA was there to clean their entire house, scrubbing carefully with a toothbrush (true story!).
All in all, I love it. We pick up the slack where the hospitals leave off. When patients have had a stressful acute stay, for whatever reason, the patient ed in the hospital doesn't stick. We educate, educate, educate. Med reviews sometimes catch quite a few errors, incompatibilites, or duplications. Timely labs and interventions can save someone from an new acute stay. Good assessments can catch exacerbations in time to treat quickly and avoid a trip to the ER, or to get to the ER and avoid the coroner.
The wear and tear on my car is probably the least-like aspect of it. At one point (a loooong time ago) I was racking up 750 miles a week. My mileage check was bigger than my paycheck in those days!
If you know any HH nurses, I'd suggest that you see if you can do a ride-along. Honestly, it's not for every nurse and it's better to find out before you suffer through the OASIS training. :lol
May 15, '09
I agree you'll see every type of home imaginable. But it does vary a little depending on your territory. If you're seeing patients in a low income area, you might find rats, etc. But you can see that it in the suburbs too, just a little less of it. The best part of the job for me it the patients. I have found that most people are interesting in some way and many of the elderly folks have had very interesting lives. For example, my patients right now (in Michigan) include a man who owned a bar and restaurant in Costa Rica for the last 20 years, a woman who sold real estate since 1950, a woman who is writing a book and just found out she has a publisher, a woman who was a nurse in WWII, and a woman who has thousands of nick nacks. Everyone has a story and I find that fascinating. The downside of home care is the paperwork. Due to Medicare regulations, home care involves lots of paperwork. I agree with the original post, see if you can find someone you can ride with for a day. If an agency is considering hiring you they will let you ride with one of their nurses.