Seeking a job where I have time for my pts. HH a good choice?


I'm working in med surg/tele now, hating every minute of it, except for the random few moments in which I find time to really connect with my patients. I only started in June, but know that I will not last on this floor. I am being pushed way too fast to take on too much and I am drowning. I need to be able to take better care of my patients. My personal life is suffering because I am so unhappy in my job. I want to set a goal for myself-find a light at the end of the tunnel. I thought if I could learn about other areas of nursing and make a plan to pursue something else asap I might not totally burn out and leave the profession.

It seems like HH is an area where there is some room for focusing on one patient at a time and not being so constantly stressed. Is that an accurate picture or am I fooling myself? Any input will be much appreciated.


1,191 Posts

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience.

Yes and no. When you see your patient, you seen one at a time (unless you see two who live together) and you can concentrate on that patient. However, I wouldn't say that it's an easy or low-stress job, the stress is just different. In the hospital, I left work at work. Now I bring it home with me. After seeing my patients, I still have some charting to do to make sure that my visit notes are complete, with admits/Resumptions/ROCs it takes a long time to weed through all the minutiae of an OASIS assessment, and there's always stuff that gets done on my own time and my own dime--phone calls, etc. Then you have patients who are questionable on homebound status and you may have to argue with your manager about keeping the patient on service, you have your prima donna patients (just like any setting) who think that you should give them whatever they want whenever they want it, no regard to orders or anything, and who think that they can verbally abuse you in the process. There's the driving 200-300 miles a week and the wear and tear on your car to think of, too.

However, despite all of the above, I wouldn't trade it for a minute. I love my patients (most of them, anyway) and love being able to give them all my attention for the brief time that I am with them. I love the freedom and autonomy, and being able to listen to NPR all day in the car. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want it and stop for a bathroom break when I need to go (provided there's a decent gas station around). I love being able to really address the problems that each patient has.


38,333 Posts

If you want one on one care, then do continuous care or shift work in home health. Intermittent visit home health can be hectic with all the traveling, paperwork, and pressure to meet productivity goals. Shift work offers you the flexibility to relax with one patient for one shift at a time. At the end of your shift only one nursing note is required. You can relax when you get home. Highly recommend it if you want less stress.


34 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 1 years experience.

Hi Leonurus,

I could have written your post. I feel exactly the same way and I too have been researching HH as a way to be the nurse I truly want to be. I currently work on a med/surg/tele/oncology unit and while the experience I am gaining is invaluable, the job satisfaction is not there. I so wanted to love, love, love my first RN position but to tell you the truth I feel so rushed and pressured throughout the day that sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. I haven't been able to find any definitive salary differences between being a hospital RN and a HH RN but then again my search is just starting. I think caliotter3's suggestion about continuous care or shift work my be right up my alley.

i have been a homehealth nurse for a year and a half now. it is hard work, due to traveling, calling mds constantly, and keeping a unrealistic schedules on some weeks.

we have had frequent turn over in staff since i started with the company. you just got to be plan ole hard working, able to handle stress without loosing it, and able to let a lot just roll off your back. it is just like hospital nursing, it carries it own good and bad. i did 20 years in hospital settings, i have to admit it would take a lot for me to go back to that setting. but in homehealth it does follow you home like a stray you just can't get to go on home. if you do take the plunge, just be ready to deal with patients lifestyles that may be real different from your own. homes that are a little rough to deal with, just remember it is still home to your patient. good luck


16 Posts

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I've lost a lot of self confidence in my current situation. I used to think I'd be able to do anything I set my mind to doing, including really challenging nursing positions...Lately I just feel like I'm so fragile and wound so tightly that I'm incapable of dealing with stress at all. My coping skills have been taxed to the breaking point. I just feel like a lightweight-not sure I'll have what it takes for any of this. Maybe the shift work would be a good option. At any rate, I really appreciate everyone's input.


225 Posts

Leonurus, you might also want to check into pediatric home health. I do shift work and have in fact stayed with the same client since I started with the company (last December). I agree with the other posters, it is definitely hard to leave my work at work. But so far it has been quite rewarding. I think of pediatric home health as "the softer side of nursing". :)

Best of luck to you!

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