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The good, the bad, and the ugly?

Home Health   (1,267 Views 3 Comments)
by Good Morning, Gil Good Morning, Gil (Member)

Good Morning, Gil has 3 years experience and specializes in Rehab, critical care.

14,103 Profile Views; 607 Posts


Hello to all home health nurses!

I am a newer nurse and work in the ICU now. Home health has always interested me ever since the few clinicals I had experienced in home health as a student. I really love my job in the ICU now since I am learning a ton, and get to provide the kind of care I want to provide for my patients with the lower ratios. I am interested in home health not in the immediate future for that reason (since I do intend to stay where I am now :), but possibly down the road when I have a family/school-age children. How are the hours? I think having years of experience in acute care would help me; I know some people do it, but I personally wouldn't be as comfortable being a brand new nurse working in home care since you have to be completely independent.

Are the hours conducive to family life? Anybody just work home health just 2 days a week? I really enjoy educating patients, so I feel like there would be more opportunity to do this here. I really think I would enjoy the autonomy home care provides (that is why I love the ICU, more standing orders, etc). Also..safety issues. Do you feel safe on a day to day basis going to patients' homes? Safety probably is my biggest concern; I don't want to feel threatened going to work every day.

Hope you all have a good shift, and thanks for the replies!

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202 Posts; 3,683 Profile Views

I made a transition 25 yrs ago to HH from hospital nursing. (ICU, CCU, PPU, and the Delivery room) I did hospital nursing BC (before children) and switched to HH AC (after children.) I started doing home care when my youngest son was 4 months old. I would nurse him before I left for a 4 hr evening case at 7pm and would be home to feed him again at 11pm. My husband was home with the kids and I worked shorter shifts, part time. My Special Care experience was very helpful and I worked on High tech Pediatric cases. As my kids got older, I moved into doing visit nursing. (dressing changes, med fills, blood draws etc) I would drop the kids off at school and be home by the time they got home. I never missed a field trip and I volunteered in the kids classes regularly. Basically, I arranged my work schedule around my life instead of the other way around. When the kids got older and into college, I started full time and never had a problem getting enough hours. I could have worked 80 hrs a week if I could have cloned myself. Now that I have an empty nest, I work in management for a home health agency. It's a stressful job but it will be my last job. It's meeting my needs at this stage in my life and I plan to retire in a few years.

I read a lot of negatives about HH nursing on this site but for me it's been great and I wouldn't change a thing. I have had much more flexibility than I would have had in a hospital while raising my family. I really did name my own hours until I started my current job.

Good luck to you!


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RNMom2010 has 7 years experience and specializes in Home Health, Case Management, OR.

454 Posts; 10,302 Profile Views

It all comes to down to the agency you work for and the area you serve. I work for a small agency in Iowa and I feel safe almost every visit I make. There is the rare exception in some of the more questionable neighborhoods where I may be more acutely aware of my surroundings but otherwise have had no safety concerns. I also do not take work home. Everything is done on the laptop and charting is completed in the pts home. Hours are flexible for my agency and we work Mon-Fri 8-4 (sometimes 5) and are on call every 2-3 weeks. This job has been a godsend for our family as with the schedule my husband works, a traditional shift at the hospital would have left us without childcare. I really enjoy home health. I like to build that professional relationship with my pts for the 4-8 weeks they are on care. I enjoy educating my pts and working with them so they can stay in their homes as long as possible. I don't plan on leaving home health anytime soon, if ever. I truly enjoy my job.

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