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Safety Concerns with Home Health or Home Visits?

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych.

I'm wondering if anyone has had concerns or actual problems with their safety when going to homes for either home health jobs or community health jobs that involve home visits. I've put in my time in med/surg and am looking for work outside hospitals as I'm weary of inept managers and problematic coworkers, seems its the same everywhere I go, just the faces change.


Specializes in Telemetry, Med Surg, Pediatrics, ER.

This is an area of nursing I am considering. I know several people who do home health nursing and they have not had any issues at this point. They are both happy with home health nursing and agree that it is nursing's best kept secret. I have heard that reference several times. I totally understand your reasons for wanting to find a different environment. Good luck in whatever you do!

annaedRN, RN

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

I've been in HH for awhile now and I absolutely LOVE it..I cannot imagine myself anywhere else. The autonomy, the flexibility, the one-on-one with my patients and not being pulled 10 different directions at once...you cannot beat it

as I'm weary of inept managers and problematic coworkers

Just keep in mind that these problems do exist in HH as well. Many agencies have a high turn over because of it. Mine thankfully does not. But keep in mind, people will be people, but atleast in HH I only have to see/deal with them a short time then get to LEAVE to do my job! I think that is why in HH, even if you have some managers or office staff that aren't your favorite, you can deal with them better --because you don't have to deal with them as often! Yes, it is very much nursing's best kept secret. Good luck to you!

GrumpyRN63, ADN, RN

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

I'm new to HH/ Hospice about 2 months now and I absolutely LOVE it!!! Its a gem, assessing, teaching, QUALITY time, actually planning care and seeing it implemented, you use all of your skills, I am actually considering severing the per diem umbilical cord to the hospital after 20 years. My colleagues are great and supervisor is the best, and they BACK their nurses.

Our pts are screened by intake and if they are high risk, security is assigned to escort. I haven't needed them as of yet, and generally the patients/families are sooooo grateful to have you there it is truly a wonderful experience. I'm sold !!! Go for it !!

I may actually have the change my username, since I'm away from the BS and politics of the hospital, I am no longer Grumpy

All in all.....NO.

I have only had 3 things that I can remember.

1) Watching roaches crawl around while doing a visit. I loved the patient and wife so I didn't let it bother me

2) Had a "crackhead" get fresh with me. Turns out that is as far as that went. We just started going into bad areas.

3) I went to see the sweetest lady in the middle of a bad, bad, BAD apartment complex. While I saw some freaky things coming in and going out nothing ever happened. Her neighbors loved her - maybe that was why. It felt scarey but never was.

I loved HHC. Patients were so appreciative of your visit because it was one on one and you were "their nurse."

I also loved hospice. Those families and patients were rewarding to me. I learned more in that field than any other.

I'm new to HH also, about 9 months. I love it and while I'm always conscious about my safety, I haven't had any issues. I was told that if I ever felt uncomfortable that I was within my right to not even go in the house, but I haven't had to do that yet. My coworkers told me that it seems that no matter how bad a neighborhood seems, that HH nurses are always respected by the residents and are, for the most part, left alone.


Specializes in ER.

I really enjoyed my time doing home hospice, for pretty much all the reasons listed above. One particular aspect I enjoyed was the problem solving skills that were involved for things that we take for granted in a hospital or even a LTC setting (ie...bathrooms!). I loved coming up with clever, safe ways to give MeeMaw an honest to goodness shower when it had been years since she had had anything but a bedbath. I did get close to most of my families, and I'm still in contact with the widow of one of my first patients (after four years, she still comes to Thanksgiving Dinner at our place!)

I did go into some, um, questionable neighborhoods and areas. I never really had any problems though. The only assignment I ever bailed on was one where there was a terrible flea infestation in the house. I kept reporting that the patient needed to be moved out, but the family wouldn't do it. I finally had to refuse to go because I was carrying them into my car and to my home. Shortly thereafter, she was put in LTC.

The only thing that keeps me from going back is, it's a car-killer. In Texas, even in the metroplex, you drive A LOT! It destroyed my car, and I had a great car that I loved when I started. I think I have twice as many miles on the Beast now than I would if I hadn't done that gig. Also, I think mileage is at around fifty cents/mile right now...I'm not sure that would cover todays fuel prices+maintenence. Keep that in mind.

Otherwise, it's an awesome job. I do miss it.


Specializes in Community, Renal, OR.

Sometimes pets and chickens can be a problem. Just check that the dog is not going to take a piece out of you, and that you do not slip on the cat's mess, and be careful not to kill the chickens as you drive out!

Good luck :wink2:

Sometimes pets and chickens can be a problem. Just check that the dog is not going to take a piece out of you, and that you do not slip on the cat's mess, and be careful not to kill the chickens as you drive out!

Good luck :wink2:


Wow, it's good to know that there are the same issues way down yonder Down Under as in the US! :lol2:

Sue Damonas, BSN

Has 37 years experience. Specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Hospice,IV Therapy.

I've had my share of driving up a driveway, following a cow walking in front of me, moonshine along with the hospice meds, some homes that were beautiful and others that I wouldn't dare take my bag and computer in because of the critters. However their conditions are, it's great with the patients at home. Plus I have all the dogs and cats to hug and play with. There was only one place that I wouldn't go to myself and then refused to go at all because it turned out to be dangerous.

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