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New to Homehealth



I’m coming from bedside nursing and moving to homehealth! Since I am new to homehealth can you all give me some tips for survival??

artsmom, BSN, LPN

Has 16 years experience.

Everything about it is totally different from the hospital setting. Give yourself at least 6 months to determine if you like it or not, at first it's like being a new nurse, everything is new and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Hopefully you're working for a decent company, don't let them work you into the ground, don't let them shorten your orientation, don't let them tell you to Youtube a procedure you've never done before. In HH you are alone and need to be sure of your skills because there is no one else to guide you and you don't want to harm a patient. Ask lots of questions. 



Specializes in Adult.

As artsmom said, home health is completely different than hospital nursing.

Your skill set, of course, will be valuable as will your time management skills but you will run into things in the home setting, like some equipment, medications, dressing  changes, IV's, that you haven't seen or heard of before. And like artsmom said, you are alone so reach out to your boss or another nurse before doing anything you aren't sure of. Some houses will be really nice, some, really not.

The OASIS documentation will be the "beast" you will need to learn. There is a TON of documentation in home health..too much I think. OASIS is extremely specific yet has a lot of "gray" areas too and the answers don't always make sense. Then the recerts/rocs/discharges and care conference notes are never ending. Be prepared for documentation outside of visits and work hours. Until you get the gist of HCHB (I assume that is the EMR your company uses), it will get faster documenting. 

Home health seems to be a flavor of nursing like dialysis that nurses either love or hate.  I've worked in HH on and off for years and this past year decided to stop working it altogether - just ended up not being worth it on a FT basis. I hope for you it's "love" or at least like!


LeChien, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing, Pediatrics. Has 9 years experience.

The previous replies are great. I just wanted to add that I always bring a roll of toilet paper (some homes either don't have any, or the families don't like you using theirs), EXTRA SOCKS for when you have to take off your shoes and end up stepping in something wet, and always keep a change of clothes in my trunk.