Published Dec 5, 2003
I am in the first year of a part-time Registered Practical Nursing program here in Toronto, Canada.
I chose the part-time program because I have a mortgage, family, yadda yadda yadda....and didn't really want to graduate with any debt. I am one course short of completing the first semester, and had a lot of self-esteem issues when I started...I never even thought I'd pass the entrance exam! Turns out, they only accepted 25% of the applicants, and I was one. Then, of course, I was panicking over succeeding in the courses - but I have an upper 80's average. I love the work, it makes sense to me, and I can't wait to finish.
However, the company I work for full-time (office work, payroll, bleh!) may be going out of business due to financial difficulties. We will find out just before Christmas...Ho ho ho...Not!
Of course, I am sorting out options. I can make a meagre living working for my husband in his paper mill. Low pay, but it will keep us alive, and crappy job...sorting paper! Woohoo! But the hours would be very flexible to complete school.
However, I was speaking with a full-time student yesterday who suggested I do homecare. Apparently, in Toronto they will hire you if you have finished first semester and have a car and a First Aid/CPR certificate. I will have both by next summer.
How many think this is a good idea? It's a little bit more money than sorting paper, and definitely better experience and better on a resume. Any input welcome!!
purplemania, BSN, RN
figure the cost of wear and tear on your car. Consider that school is your major focus right now. You are the only one who can make this decision, but if it were me, I would go for what is most flexible as school can be very stressful.
I would check the local hospitals out first. With is much education you have finished you could be hired in as a Nurse Tech making more than an aide. Just a thought. Good luck to you.
hello future LPN,
I have been an RN since 1992 and have been doing home care since early 1993-4 to the present. I am also a full time BSn student and am looking forward to graduate school.
I am not sure what the regs are in Canada, but in the US in my state of Pennsylvania, LPN's can only work seeing patients if an RN also see the patient once a week. Most do not even use LPN's..
You, however, are not at that point yet and it sounds like your friend is suggesting that you work as a home health aide.
HHA's make about $15 per visist or about $7.50 an hour here. I would see how the salary would compare to working in the mill beofre you make a choice.
It is hard work but you sound up tp it. I would NOT recommend home care to a new nurse (RN) or even an LPN...you need excellent assesment skills with the ability to act autonomously.
I say compare the benefits of both jobs...working as a HHA will also give you some extra clinical practice even if it is for personal care...it sounds like a win-win situation.
If all checks out OK...GO FOR IT!! :)
Just read your post. I thought you were losing a nursing job, which is why I read it. I am 57, have been working since teen years, over 20 as an RN. Last Summer, my boss fired me for some phony reasons rather than address my concerns. I have never been fired from any job before, but believe me, it is a growing experience. Not only did they fire me, but for phony reasons that make me unemployable, and not eligible for any job, particularly in nursing. I should probably start a new thread, if there isn't one but right now I have to devote a lot of time in constructing my legal defense.
As to home care. I worked for the longest-standing and largest agency in the state. Our CEO had just received a big award for being a successful business. I didn't go into it for the money, but soon realized that all of the other nurses on my "high tech" (i.e. saline locks, Hickmans, PICC's ect) were. HC nurses in those days got $36 a pop, so 6-8 visits a day was decent money.
They had me on "orientation", which means a week with another nurse, followed by a couple of weeks on my own. Of course as the new kid, I got all the worst cases. My patients were spread all over 3 counties, and ranged in acuity from needing nothing to more care than Jesus could deliver. I had to call them before a visit to make sure they were home--so why could't they go to a clinic instead of the mall?
One of my patients, I'll call him Karl, was a Post-BMT, who had been an ASCP, and did his own Hickman maintenace better than I could. My boss told me that he needed many more teaching sessions, which I viewed as "milking" his insurance.
I had one with 14 decubitus ulcers, that she got while in the hospital I had worked. Her family was great! One daughter was an LPN. They had a V/S, med schedule and a TURNING schedule that was religiouslly followed. Whe's the last time you saw that, even in a big medical center? I remember when I was a student updating 3 day old "daily" I&O charts taped at the bed side.
I saw her 2-3X/wk and had to measure, chart and dress each wound, provide and sometimes hang her ABX IVPBs, and weekly peaks and troughs and CBC/chem7s.
All the other staff nurses were "over-booking" so when they realized they could't make their visits, my boss would give ME their overlow. I could barely handle my own case-load, so there was NO WAY I could cover theirs in a 14 hour day. Never mind that I was being paid $14/hr and could not be paid for more than 8hrs, because I was still just an "orientee." Never mind that by the time I got home, long after dark, all of my peers were at home counting three times what I had made that day.
The last case I had made my decision to quit was a real no-brainer. I think it was supposed to be my last day of orientation anyway. Late afternoon my boss gave me a visit that somebody else couldn't make. When I walked into the living room I nearly became encopretic. 350-400 lbs of near-corpse! no-way to get a b/p (biceps thigh cuff) too shocky for radial. She's tachypnic (Shamu's always is) Can't hear heart or breath sounds, foley drainage not consistent with life. Only thing I can
think of is tell her daughter to call 911. I'll never know if she did. She spent most of my visit in another room toking some weed. If she called 911 it was so that her mom could be recylcled back through the system so that she could keep spending her mom's welfare on weed. The US heath care system loves these people. If we turned off the tap on these cases our entire system would collapse. You might wanna tell me how this stuff works in Canada if you know or have time love these cases.
When I got back to the agency my boss actually stayed 10 min after to conduct my "exit interview." She told me that Shamu had been assigned to me the previous week. Funny, I never got a chart or a report last week. She told me that they intended to get rid of me for some time because I "...just wasn't working out as a team member."
I should have realized that before I took the job and saw that everybody else was "Nursing for Dollars and didn't give a sh*t about decent care, or when I found out how poorly my patients were "covered" when I was off!
Since I had worked for the biggest and the best, I shudder to think about the worst. A few weeks after I resigned President Clinton announced a federal freeze on Medicare/Medicaid funding for new Home Health Agency start ups, since they were so rife with fraud. Too bad the boys stopped Hillary from looking at the health care industry.
Like every nursing job I've ever had, I loved the nursing, but hated the bureaucracy. I'm not nearly as burned out as I have every reason to sound. I still love nursing and will be proud to say so till the day I die I pray every day that I can stop these a$$ h*le$ from ending my career! I believe that good nurses are born. Going into the furnace of hell that we call a health care system for money is a big mistake.
Just a thought from someone who has worked in Human Resources and been through a major corporate melt down.
I am in the States and so, not familiar with Canadian Employment issues, but do you have Un-employment compensation in Canada?
Here in the US a person in your predicament would be given Un-employment compensation. In the state of Pennsylvania it is a percentage of your salary or earnings from the previous year given to you every 2 weeks until you find a job. The length was 6 months but I believe they have extended it even longer due to the poor economy.
Also, here if you work a part time job you can extend the length of un-employment even longer. ie. you could get your un-employment payments for 6 months or work a part-time job and collect part of your payments for 9 months.
I guess I am just asking you to consider this because CNA and/or patient care tech jobs do not pay well and if you are making a decent salary now, you may be better off taking this route, especially if you have school to consider too.
if you want good hands on knowledge i would go for the hospital. the bad thing about home health is that you have no guarantee of hours and you can sent into some bad home situations with aggressive, angry family members or a client who is combative. at least in a hospital, when you need help someone is down the hall that can help you immeadiately. another disadvantage is that sometimes the agency won't consider the hours you are in school and want you to work those hours anyways. this is just based on my experience. good luck!!!
renerian, BSN, RN
I have been laid off six times in home health.
My mother in law gets this home health care and we are going to say that all of the nurses are fantastic and exceptional but I'm sorry to say that the aides that she has had come to sit down on the couch, do homework, watch tv and I mean the whole 9 yards, etc. One even slept on the couch for the 3/4 of the 2 hours. Don't mind you the scolding we gave her for not calling us when this last one was sleeping. There is a language barrier, but mind you, there is a list with duties and also family notes on the fridge as to why they are there and what to do. They don't even walk to the bathroom with her when she says "I go to bath now". They just sit there and watch TV. We finally addressed the social worker and she told my sis in law that my mother in law c/o too much, and isn't this Medicare fraud. I'm soo upset that these situations continue to happen but I have to let them handle it and I just try to inform them of their rights. I got involved before and my mom in law backfired on me and said I get too involved, so I let them handle it. But one nurse's comment to me was, its as if you're pulling lead, referring to getting the aides to take initiative, they would rather sit down; this is fraud, how about these people that can't advocate for themselves and they are in their homes and these girls do the minimum, if that!!! Sorry, but if you're new, stay away from home care, too much you have to be on top of and that's just the surface, what about your nursing skills which have to be packed in your belt.!! Come up here in NYS and get paid $16+ hr in a long term care facility.
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