taking call

Specialties Home Health


This is my first weekend being on call for homehealth. I had a patient call me over her s/p cath that had been leaking for 3 DAYS. Why do they wait until the weekend to call? I mean, come on. I told her that someone would be there first thing Monday morning to change it. She was just determined for me to go that day! So I went. My saturday was shot. I had to get ready, get dressed, and go change it. I dont understand what goes thru their minds. Oh, its saturday, I think I'll now call and interrupt someone's time off and have them come visit me. grrrrrrr. Now, I know thats part of it, but geez. My beeper has gone off constantly for the past 2 days. I hate being on call!


10 Posts

I hate being on call too, and lately it has been awful. I think some people are just lonely. I do a lot of SOC and I always emphasize that we are working people that THEN go on call so if you need us that is fine but if it can wait please let it. HH is a 24/7 job, that is the part I hate~well that and the paperwork LOL!

annaedRN, RN

519 Posts

Specializes in LTC/hospital, home health (VNA).

I too do not find being on call my favorite thing :( We also cover our hospice which is where most of the calls come from...if we grow large enough for HH to take their call and hospice to cover their own...I would not have busy weekends...I can only hope. Most of our people truly do call only when it can't wait, but I did have a wound VAC that just needed unclamped (grrr) AFTER asking about it on the phone! I just keep telling myself that because I do what I do, these people can stay home. But at 2am it's not always a very convincing speech :)


51 Posts

Specializes in Home health, Cardiac Tele, Doc's office.

I hate on call too, with a passion. I went from one agency in Arizona, to the same company in California and can't believe the difference in the way they handle call. It is the same company!!! Arizona had a triage person that screened the calls during the week, then they would call the correct discipline, and we would respond to the call. I have done call here in California during the week, and the nurse gets ALL the calls (PT does not have to do on call, altho they each have to work one weekend day a month. I have had very few calls for nursing and so many calls about schedule changes for PT/OT, or that the PT called them for an appointment tomorrow and left her phone number but the patient couldn't understand one of the numbers (mind you this was for an appointment 3 pm the next day). In AZ we had a weekend all call nurse that did the RVS's and then a regular girl that works Friday, Saturday and Sunday and does the SOC's. In California, we have to work one weekend a month and have to do all SOC's and RVS. We also have to do on call during the week about once every 5-6 weeks. It really doesn't seem right that a nurse has to do on call yet PT's don't. I have worked for the same company on and off for over 20 years. Maybe it's time to get out and try something else, I love home care nursing, just not the on call part.

My company also is going PPV jobs, and getting rid of all the salary, and hourly worker. I work PPV with benefits, and if they don't have the visits for me, if I don't go in and work in the office, I don't get paid. In AZ the company was paying salary and when I momved, they were trying to go PPV with all the nurses there.If you don't want to do PPV then you will just have to find someplace else. I hate the PPV system, if something gets qued wrong, or they don't get verification in time, you don't get paid, until it comes through. I am wondering if all Home Health companies are going to PPV. I do understand the reasoning for this, but I hate working in the office, if that was what I wanted to do, I would be working in the office all the time. Thanks for letting me vent, don't know if this made any sense or not, but I appreciate letting me vent.


214 Posts

we too used to have to take call for HH and hospice as we were fairly small,,,came to find out all the hospice nurses hated HH and HH hated hospice, we approached the administrator and said we would like to split it' Hospice take their calls and HH take theirs ,,, they divided the call pay ($25/night) and we each took $12.50 and everyone was happy!!!!!!!


10 Posts

Hello~ as I sit here finishing my paperwork for the day:bugeyes: I had to check in. I have just come back to this site and I have to say I am amazed at the differences in HH services. I do know compared to some mine is decent! We seperated HH and Hospice last year and I was glad, though I did do a HH death call the other night, but I was prepared thanks to the nurse and my supervisor. I just feel liked when I oriented with hospice I did not get a good orientation and felt unsure of what I should do.

And wow a clamped wound vac~that would be annoying!

I am on call about one weekend a month and 2-3 nights a month~usually in a cluster lately.

None of our PT go on call, ever. How would they handle a medical issue?

Hope everyone has a peaceful night:up:


51 Posts

Specializes in Home health, Cardiac Tele, Doc's office.

I do realize that PT's can't handle medical issues. But the same company in Arizona had a triage nurse on call on the weekend, and during the week. They then send the calls to the respective disciplines instead of nursing having to take all the calls. Like I said, I just started there in February and have done call during the week several times. Not one call was for nursing. There is a triage on call on the weekend, so the weekends aren't so bad.I don't know, it just doesn't seem fair, we have to work a weekend a month (fri, sat, sun or sat, sun, mon) and the PT's only have to work one weekend day a month. Maybe I'm nit picking but oh well.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

Im learning that even on my days OFF, Im still taking/making calls. grrrrrrrrr. With us, hospice takes their own call, thank GOD. But its bad enough the way it is. But my nerves are killing me today. I took off just today, for stress, and didnt even get the day off. Three of my patients werent home today, so the nurse covering for me didnt see them, which means I have to see them tomorrow. Ive had to make/take calls all day over one patient, coordinating referrals, etc. I hate this job. Ive worked hospital and homehealth, I dont know that there is any nursing job worth having! lol. I hate the stress.


51 Posts

Specializes in Home health, Cardiac Tele, Doc's office.

That is true, sometimes I never feel off. I have been sick the last 2 days, and have had to take calls from nurses, doctors I had called the day before that are just now getting back to calling me. lol But I much prefer this stress to the hospital/SNF. Even Doctor's offices (and most are not hiring RN's anymore and if they do the pay isn't worth it) has it's own kind of stress. I love doing home care, but I am getting kinda burnt after over 20 years of doing it and I absolutlely hate doing on call when only nursing has to take call for all disciplines. I haven't tried case management in a insurance agency, I am sure it has it own kind of stress too, but I think I'm willing to try and find out. lol


11 Posts

I completely agree. I have only been doing home health for 6 months and am finding it extremely stressful ! I am salaried and some days end up working 12-14 hours when all is said and done with the enormous amount of documentation, follow up calls to doctors, scheduling my patients for the next day, and 1 night a week on call. I feel like it's all a constant juggling act. I always thought this would be my dream job, but it has not turned out that way. I have never had high BP, but now it's averaging 150/100. Not good ! Is there any nursing job that is medium to low stress ? If there is, please share....If there was any other job that I could make enough money doing, I'd go for it. Been a nurse for 19 years. Really starting to get burned out....


44 Posts

I work for a very small private duty office so I am the only nurse there. That means I am the only nurse that can take calls. Also I do alot of the scheduling so I am also called if someone is sick. I do not get paid at all for this since I just get paid hourly when I am in the office or making visits. every time my phone rings night or day I stress out. I am constantly on edge since I am on call 24/7. I have been doing this for most of this year and I am getting burned out. I also love home care but I need time for my self and my family when I know no one can call me.


52 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC, Home Health.

We are also a very small agency with a "new" director (she was a field nurse before w/the same agency) who just found out she has cancer. We typically take call once every three weeks from Friday evening until the next Friday morning and the director is backup for the LPN when she is on call. Lately with her being ill though we have been trying to help cover hers as well. We have another nurse who just started today that isn't looking very promising either.....

PT for us doesn't take call and they don't do admissions but we are told that is soon to change too....

I would rather do the paperwork than have to be on call all the freaking time!

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