OK I won't be able to answer all of these but I'll try!
Depending on your agency, there should be help available on the phone from your sup. I know I have co-workers calling me with questions (esp the newer ones!) I/we encourage new hires to call their preceptors with questions. I have even had nurses that I have never met call me, because they were told I would help them.
At each visit you will be expected to do a head to toe assessment, teach, and do interventions. They are usually expected to be at least 30minutes. (usually longer)
At my agency we do get mileage reimbursement. It varies, at times, if the gas prices are high.
The agency covers a very large territory. We each have our own area. I am asked to go out of my territory at times, but mostly I stay in my area.
The agency I work for strongly discourages us from carrying our own malpractice insurance. They say that their lawyer will not be able to represent us if we have our own insurance. (that being said, I've heard of lawsuits in homecare, but never been involved or even heard a pt threaten one)
I see my first pt around 9 (I have a hard time finding pt's that don't think 9 is too early!) I see aprox 6 pt's a day I finish between 4-5 depending on how many and what I had to do. I do aprox 1-2 paperwork hrs afterwards
The pt's do respect you. You have a lot more time to get to know them. They can really come to like you and you them. Sometimes too much!
Yes I love home care and would not go back to the hospital!