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Specialties Home Health


Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Gina and I am from St. Louis. I am a 30 year old single mom working in Customer service during the day. Currently I attend school at night. I am finishing all of my pre req's for Nursing first before actually starting the program. My last classes to complete are Anatomy... and it is driving me fruity! I have been accepted to a Nursing program for the Fall of 04... I am so excited! I was diagnosed with Mulitple Sclerosis last year, but hey that hasn't stopped me yet. But after this Anatomy class I think my GPA may not stay at 3.6

My first passion was to be a paramedic, but looking long term (health wise) I felt that Nursing would be the next best thing! My mother was a home health nurse for many years before she passed. I remember the joy and love her patients had for her. On Saturdays sometimes we would go by some of their houses just to say hi and check on them. I have never seen so many people fill a funeral home as this one... her patients LOVED her. That is what I am hoping to do... I hope to touch people the way she did, even if to make their last days more comfortable. Does anyone have experience with home health nursing? Are there any pros or cons? Does it compare to working in a clinical environment?


328 Posts

I wish you the best goverman. It's wonderful that you have goals and are working to achieve them especially with your dx. It sounds like your mother was a wonderful hh nurse and was a great role model for you.

HH nursing is one of those things you either love or hate and I happen to love it. You just never know until you try it. Our agency does both hh and hospice. I always thought I would love hospice until I did some and was surprised to find it wasn't something I wanted to do. With both hh and hospice you really need to be able to be and love to be autonomous. You also need to be pretty well versed on a broad base and feel confident with clinical skills.

I think 5 years experience is very helpful. I have pretty much killed my back working in facilities over the years and hh is not as physically demanding. You do do lots of driving though and this can sometimes get to my back. I always try to make sure not to make my bag too heavy.

In school you will probably get a little taste of hh nursing to see if you like it, but I would get some med/surg experience in a facility. Our patients are coming home so very sick and we are doing more and more high tech stuff that you used to see only in facilities.

Good luck to you!



16 Posts

Originally posted by Traveler

but I would get some med/surg experience in a facility

Good luck to you!


You were not the first to give me this advice! I think I will follow it. I guess it would depend on the person on the amount of time spent receiving med/surg experience? I was thinking that I would work in that environment for about 2-3 years or as long as it takes to complete my BSN. Do you know if there are extra classes that help in preparing for being a hh nurse?

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I worked on a hem/onc/bmt unit for over 6 years then jumped to home health and loved it. I do agree with several years med surg experience. You get alot of wounds, IVs and teaching in home health.



328 Posts

>>Do you know if there are extra classes that help in preparing for being a hh nurse?

Trial by fire! Just joking (sort of). A broad based knowledge that can be gained by actual clinical experience is the best. Ren was right in mentioning the teaching, wounds and IV's. Wounds are a biggie with us. Many of the doctors will refer a pt to hh and tell us to assess the wd and decide what the best tx is for it. I suppose we see them more frequently, etc. Had one pt I admitted Friday with a diabetic foot wound. She went to the doctor Thursday and they didn't even put ANY kind of dsg. on it before sending her home. We're also seeing more wound vacs in the home.


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