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Q re: Home Care Orientation


Hi everyone,

I'm new to home care, just started this past week (previously worked in med/surg) and the 'orientation' process involved two days of reading and then one day on the field following one of the visit nurses. Starting next week, they want me to do a SOC on my own and see how I do, and I assume after that, I'd continue to receive pts. Is this appropriate orientation? I'm scared because I don't feel I have enough experience but don't know what the norm is for home care. Any comments are greatly appreciated!

Thank you!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Our orientation period is 6-8 weeks, with informal wkly meeting with educator for first 3 months. Found it best to do revists for 2-3 weeks then introduce OASIS.

First 2 weeks are combo classroom and ride alongs including 1/2 day with PT, OT and HHA Sup each.

No,that is in no way a proper orientation, no matter how long you have been a nurse and where you have worked prior.If you are new to home health, you needa proper length orientation, there is so much to learn. I was a supervisor over the local hospital and charge nurse on med-surg, and home health is a whole new world. Of course, the more of a knowledge and skill base you have, the faster it will come to you. I would definitely talk to the DON about a more detailed orientation. Good luck to you!

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

No way. That's insane to expect you to do a SOC right off the bat like that ! What are they THINKING ??? (or NOT thinking!) :rolleyes:

You should be going out with a HH nurse for a good two weeks at LEAST to just watch and participate and learn.

THEN they should give you no more than 3 patients for a week on your own.. no SOCs, no recerts.. just regular visits. The week after that, four pts., and then after that a "full load" of 6-7 pts/day. Still no SOCs, though.

After you have done this for a couple weeks, they should schedule you for a SOC but ONLY with another RN to guide you throught the process the first time.


Specializes in Nursery,OB-GYN,Dr. Office pulmonologist.

I agree with the above answer. Go to your Don and tell them you dont feel comfortable doing a SOC or being on your own to much to learn yet. Good Luck.:o

Don't allow your new employers to put you out into the field with insufficient orientation. What previous posters described sounds like good orientation plans. Have that talk with them and politely ask for a break in period like described. Although many agencies will throw a new person out there, nobody should approach home health with little to no orientation. Speak up. It is for the benefit of the agency. They should realize that by properly orienting you, their chances of keeping you as an employee increase tremendously.

annaedRN, RN

Specializes in LTC/hospital, home health (VNA). Has 10 years experience.

Holy crap! I think I speak for alot of us when I say that if I had gotten that kinda orientation I don't think that I would have stayed in HH very long! My agency does a thorough orientation like the other posts have talked about. There is so much to learn about SOC/OASIS in order to complete them correctly. As eager as your agency might be to get you "out there"...you should ask them why they would want you doing an OASIS without proper orientation...they would lose LOTS of reimbursement because of you not understanding the way that the OASIS works. Besides all of the other issues that was already mentioned. While it is alot to learn, I feel that HH nursing is worth it! Stick to your guns and try it out. If they won't bend, try an agency that will work with you!


Specializes in L&D, OB/GYN, Peds, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I started at a HH agency recently and was given the "holy crap" orientation. I've been working with this agency for 4 weeks and I'm already burned out. Please take the advice of the others on this forum and request an appropriate orientation!

oh my gosh! your type of orientation brings back memories of my own orientation to home care.....and that was 27 years ago! there was no oasis....no hhabn notices.....no pps. 485's were hand written. it was tough then coming into home care and not having a clue, (having had a background in maternal child heath and being requested to see medicare patients.) i received no orientation other than "ask any questions if you get stuck." there was no preceptor.....no mentor. i am not sure how i got through it then, but am glad i did for i love home care.

now i am the educator for my agency and have developed an orientation program which is individualized for the new employee. the program is a combination of classroom and field experiences, precepting with a seasoned home care nurse, regular meetings with the supervisor, etc. they are not "set loose" to see patients on their own until they have completed the entire process and it is mutually agreed the employee is ready.

this process takes eight weeks minimally. if one wants to have a successful employee, there must be some time and energy put into the process to assure it happens.

i agree with the others who have responded thus far.......talk to the director. take it slow. just keep in mind that you are working with a license that you have worked hard to get. don't allow yourself to be pushed into something you are not properly trained for.

take baby steps first....then run the marathon when you are ready.

the best of luck to you. :up:

Sometimes we have to learn by doing....is your agency new?

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

Orientation? Is that what they call that? What a joke!

My agency (a small, fairly new one) sent me out too early to do too much. Three weeks out I had a full schedule with SOCs. The result was that after two months, I gave notice and went casual. Please stand up for yourself and insist on a real orientation. If that's not in their game plan, consider walking. They're showing their colors and their intentions to overload you and overwork you.

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