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DallasRN DallasRN (Member)

I Must Be Missing Something

Home Health   (4,515 Views 21 Comments)
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After MANY years of all different types of nursing (and a successful career IMHO), I decided to try HH nursing in my "golden" years. First, I read here extensively - pros and cons. I read all sorts of things online. I thought I would really enjoy it on a part time basis. Spent several hundred dollars getting set-up (new printer, new Chromebook, updated phone, added wifi to apt, bags, b/p monitor, thermometer - all that stuff you need in the field). I even hired a dog walker to the tune of $20 bucks a day so I didn't have to worry about him. I was serious about this job. Wanted it to be mutually successful. When interviewed by 4 people I was 100% upfront - no experience but excellent assessment skills and generally a quick learner.

Well, the DON hates me! Within 2 weeks She said to me, and I quote, "I didn't want to hire you but ______ said she would train you". I blew that off by saying "I think you'll be happy you did in 6 months". Two weeks later, she said it again. I didn't blow it off. Along with other comments I went to the administrator who just happens to be her son. Interesting. Nonetheless, all was better for a few days. Then...I can't please her. I document too much. I don't document enough. I should be able to take a full load. I can't take a full oad - I don't have enough experience. I can't win.

Time...I work all day seeing the "dump on new person patients" (expected), leaving home at 6:30, getting home at 5:30, then spend my days off doing paperwork and the unbelievable payroll paperwork. I'm exhausted!! I'm only supposed to work 3 days a week but constantly get messages...can you take w/e call, can you go draw blood, cath a pt. Can you see ____'s pts? She's overloaded. Can you see ____'s w/e insulin pts? On and on.

And just FYI.. I'm an oldie Goldie but I'm not "old". I do yoga, run/walk with my 70 lb dog 3-4 days a week, no meds except thyroid. So my exhaustion stems from this job and the job is now leading to depression. And I don't like that.

So after this long lead-up I'm asking...am I missing something? Is it me or just this particular agency? What do you live about HH nursing? Will it get better or should I give up with this particular DON/agency owner? And another FYI... I've only been there SEVEN weeks. Many TIA,s for any guidance.

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I saw a complete turn-around, from day to night, at two agencies where I worked, when a complete turnover of internal staff took place. Any given hh office can change with a change in personnel. If I were you, I would not invest any more time or mental energy trying to please this woman. Go to another employer as soon as you can get someone to hire you.

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Thanks for your reply. I am looking into other agencies, and with some appropriate training on the OASIS, recerts, etc., think I would have a lot to offer. Unfortunately, I'm hindered by my lack of experience (23 working days - literally!) so I may not be able to move forward easily. I don't like giving up so easily but have to wonder if I'm not fighting a losing battle.

Its really sad. Good, skilled nurses are so badly needed but some people treat us like disposables.

Edited by DallasRN
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I saw a complete turn-around, from day to night, at two agencies where I worked, when a complete turnover of internal staff took place. Any given hh office can change with a change in personnel. If I were you, I would not invest any more time or mental energy trying to please this woman. Go to another employer as soon as you can get someone to hire you.

Good advice...

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I had luck looking into more than one agency too. I quickly found a much more supportive office environment and they made all the difference. There are some ppl you just will never please and you can't spend any more energy on those. With HH, sometimes you can get around that by not spending too much time in the office itself but it sounds like you were spending quite some time there so you might not be able to change that. I rarely go by my agency office. Do all the e-charting at home or on my phone. (I *do* get overwhelmed constantly with the amount of comp work and the requirements for visit sheets and signatures, etc.)

Skilled nurses are needed but I think we *are* disposable these days. There are so many other nurses out there growing weary of what they are experiencing with bedside positions.

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There can be huge differences between different agencies in the same town.

HH can be decent, but I eventually had to leave because of the politics.

Worth your while to try elsewhere, and I wouldn't mention that place where you worked 23 days.

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Find another agency.

And you should NOT in any way be purchasing your own equipment with your own money. If you need a laptop to do your required charting, the agency should give you a laptop. You should be given a work cell phone- I have had one in each of my last 3 jobs- home care clinical manager who split her time between the office and the field, home infusion liaison and now as a community based case manager for a large teaching hospital. I refuse to use my personal cell to call patients. I wouldn't take a job such as this unless I was provided a work cell- I keep strict limits. You can call me from 8:30-5. After hours, leave a message and I'll call you back tomorrow or call the on-call person if you really can't wait. Work cell goes off promptly at 5pm. All equipment you need such as thermometers, BP cuffs, lab draw supplies, your nursing bag, baby scales- EVERYTHING should be provided by the agency if it's a good agency. I interviewed for several home health agencies before I started in home health 6 years ago and they all provided this. If your home isn't WiFi enabled, the phone that your agency provides you can serve as a hot spot.

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I have to say that you found your way to a really crummy agency. It is so different from where I work that I don't even know where to begin. Firstly, I purchased no equipment. It is all provided and it is top notch. Secondly, everyone in the agency from the home health aides to the DON up to the CEO (a nurse) are truly amazing, supportive, helpful people.

I love this job. I pinch myself every morning because I can't believe I'm not dreaming. I am out and about in my community, enjoying fresh air and beautiful scenery. I practice at the top of my license. I spend all the time I want and need with my patients and spend more time teaching (which is my passion) than checking stupid boxes on charting software.

That is not to say this is not a challenge. OASIS starts of care are tedious and time consuming. I get through them because I know that until that chart is completed and goes in, my patient does not get services.

I could go on and on -(OK, I've gone on and on).

Find a better agency. It is a truly wonderful branch of nursing.

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All of you who have responded have no idea how much your comments have meant to me. I was thinking I was the problem yet I kept thinking why would thousands of nurses love this area of nursing if, indeed, my experiences were the norm?

Just recently I've had the opportunity to talk with 2 nurses from two different agencies. They have each confirmed much of what has been said here. I've been given a couple of contact names but admittedly, I may have difficulty finding part-time work due to so little (and such bad) experience. That's ok. I'll keep looking. Eventually someone will take a chance and with just a little training will be glad I'm on their team. At least I'm hoping for that! 😳

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Get the heck outta of dodge...it's not you....its the witch supervisor. I love both my home health infusion nurse job and my IV team job! You are a treasure with all your experience and if this supervisor does not realize that then its time to go!

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Start looking for another HH company to work for. You are working for a bullying tyrant. Don't put up with it!!!

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I greatly appreciate all the comments. You know...I was really excited about this job. After 36 years in multiple areas of adult nursing, there wasn't a bunch of new stuff for me to learn and experience. HH Nursing afforded that opportunity...learning about Medicare, learning new ways and points of emphasis on assessing patients (assessments are different than in the hospital where you have all tools necessary and lots of other minds to call on). A bit of a slower pace - one in which I could actually "listen to and hear" what a patient might be saying rather than have my attention split in so many different directions.

Reading what many of you have written here and reading many posts from others makes me know I will never be happy where I am. This small agency "flies by the seat of their pants" as someone said last night. I didn't know it but there are only 3 RN's - owner/DON, me, one other. Every clinical person is part-time except the owner/DON. It's just a mess.

So...events of this past week have only confirmed it is time for me to move on. I don't know if I'll be able to find someone to hire me with so little experience - and not good experience - but even if I have to do something entirely different to support myself, I believe my peace of mind and general feelings of self-worth trump any job. We have really nasty weather here this weekend. Perfect! No excuses for not getting resumes sent out! 😁

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