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10 Tips for Home Health Nursing

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As a Registered Nurse, this year marks my 20th year in home health nursing. It has been a wonderful ride and I have met some interesting patients and co-workers along the way. I have worked in the field and in the office. The following are some tips I have learned from experience and my peers. You are reading page 2 of 10 Tips for Home Health Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Thanks HomeHealth20 for sharing your expertise! I am thinking about entering the HomeHealth arena and would like to know what type of supplies I should keep in my car. Do you have any tips on cost effective purchases for the supplies I will need to keep on hand? Thanks Much!

Cute nurse 17.

I am in HH for about 1 year now. I did ER nursing for 30 years.Had enough of hospitals. I love HH very much.The HH agency I work for set us up with plastic bins with all supplies we needed. Hopefully yours will. Things you need:

BP cuff, stethascope,thermometer are esential. A sleeve of non sterile 4x4 , paper tape,2x2 . telfa pads (non stick) tegaderm all sizes, ns ,tao, sterile 4x4 ,

drug book,plastic bins with extra papers that your HH uses.bandage sissors.If possible foams adhesive, hydrocolloid,kerlix.kling.alcohol wipes ,hand sanitizer,lab supplies,foley's . My trunk looks like the stock room in the hospital.But I have it .When I get a call to do something.

chenoaspirit, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

Its also a good idea to carry some dog treats in your car for your patients' little "angels" who act like a devil when you try to walk up to the door. I think every one of my patients have a dog.

florianslove

Specializes in Home Health, SNF. Has 7 years experience.

I did six years of home health as an LPN and loved it. Although I changed career paths to go into LTC, I will always look fondly on my home health years. All home health nurses, good luck.

TerryBSN

Specializes in OR, ICU, Home Health.

I have been in Home Health for the past 7 years and I love it. And I agree with either you will love home health or you will be running back for your prior specialty. Many nurses do not like home health, while others love it, it is like any specialty area. I have worked as a field nurse in home health, as a clinical supervisor for HH, and a DON of a HH, I prefer being in the field seeing patients and that is what I am doing now. The OASIS, well I am a COS-C, certified oasis specialists. If I have an admission, a recert or a post hospital I always make sure my OASIS, cert and orders are complete that night, if you let the paper work go it can mount up and be overwhelming. When I was the DON and clinical supervisor, my rule was you had till the next morning to turn in your prior days paper work, no excuses, this prevented the staff from getting behind and if someone else picked up the patient they had all the complete information needed.

ILBCNU

Specializes in Med/surg. Has 14 years experience.

I have applied for HH position, but was told by a former co-worker that she used to work with a nurse that years later, after getting a job with HH, had gotten killed by a patient's family member while doing a home visit. I have often wondered about the safety issues of going into other people's homes and now this has me very scared. Has anyone had any bad experiences with home health visits in which they were afraid for their safety after they had already entered a home?

Kei35

Specializes in OR, Home Care, Managed Care, Case Mgmt. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you so much for this post. Everything is true and insightful!

April 6th marks my one year anniversary as a home health nurse. I work in the Bronx. It can get complicated, frustrating, etc. managing patients' cases (because yes, you are the coordinator!) but WOW, I have loved this job. It does not even feel like it's been a year since I started. Sometimes when I'm working, I have so much fun interacting/teaching/providing care to (most) of my patients that I can't believe I'm working (until my paperwork time arrives). But even with the paperwork, it's fun but one must be really organized and able to stay on top of tasks of coordinating.

Most days after my visits & paperwork, I don't feel like I've "worked" because I enjoy the job. With home health, that saying applies to me: Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. So far, so good. :nurse:

Kei35

Specializes in OR, Home Care, Managed Care, Case Mgmt. Has 10 years experience.

As an aside, I also got my 2nd cat one day going home after seeing patients in my health area. She was a stray who kept following me down the block, then followed me to my car, hopped into my car, and did not stop purring. I went with her straight to our vet, she was cleared, and came home with us. Sweetest cat ever. Never thought my 1st cat would ever get along with another cat, but they became fast BFF's. Anyway, she's just another blessing that came along through home health. lol.

rnicupcu

Specializes in Adult Intensive care and Adult Step Down. Has 26 years experience.

Thank you for this post.

Thank for the tips! They are very encouraging. I start as a new grad Field Nurse on Monday.

Its so good to hear positive comments about home health nursing. I am just starting, have done a few shadow days, and think I will like it. I am overwhelmed by the constant distractions in the hospital, short staffing, and bad morale. I am hoping I can educate patients and help them achieve their goals, feel good about my job, and not go home questioning my career choice!

mb1949

Specializes in med surg home care PEDS. Has 2 years experience.

Hi new grad here and have been offered a home health nursing job, caring for medically fragile children, am really looking forward to and your article has given me courage to go for it, I was a little nervous about going it alone but I feel better and like you stated "trying to be prepared for all scenarios"

I ran onto your post here and wanted to say "THANK YOU". As an older retired person, who just had major surgery, I needed help from home health care. The nurses who came to help me with daily care and wound care, during my healing time, I cant give you enough praise for the dedication and care they gave me. If all nurses were this caring and concerned about patient care and comfort the hospitals would not be getting so many complaints, Yes I know, it is very different in the hospitals and doctors offices. Yet an order can seem like a request if worded correctly, and not barked out.

So to all the home health care Nurse I say Thank you. You show concern for your patients well being. You work in some very adverse conditions and yet you still have a smile and a kind word for your patients.

I have an interview in a few weeks with a home health agency. They stated that I will be taking a critical thinking test (no math or meds). Can any of you recommend a book or even post anything you think might be on this test that I should be prepared for?

Thank you very much.

Thank you for this article. It's really very helpful and inspiring.

Just finished 6 months as an LPN in Home Health, I understand the holes in the floor and the cockroaches, but when do you draw the line for your own safety, when it comes to dog feces EVERY where and mold and filth so bad, you know your health is in danger, is there a rule of conduct for a an agency to refuse service due to filth alone? I want your honest answer. Thank you.

I have applied for HH position, but was told by a former co-worker that she used to work with a nurse that years later, after getting a job with HH, had gotten killed by a patient's family member while doing a home visit. I have often wondered about the safety issues of going into other people's homes and now this has me very scared. Has anyone had any bad experiences with home health visits in which they were afraid for their safety after they had already entered a home?

I have done home health, of all kinds, hospice, home to home nursing care only visits, (dressings, lab draws, foleys, etc) and shift work, where i was in a home for an entire shift. Sometimes for peds, sometimes adults. I've also been an HH admissions nurse (harder work, imo, getting everything set up for brand new pts)

Not nearly as much as the OP has, not at all, but, off/on through the years, i have done home health.

loved it! Getting to know a patient and their family well, is such a plus. Having time to really do the things you want to, awesome. Autonomy, wonderful. Being creative, is a must now and then, loved that part, too. Lots of great things about HH.

I have never ever felt afraid.

I've been afraid more than once in a hospital, with some of the patients i've interacted with there, oh my yes! Yes i have felt a lil wave of fear now and then over someone's behavior. and i once had a brain-damaged pt grab my head and twist my neck. Ouch! I've also witnessed many a coworker take a punch or slap from some demented pt here or there.

in a hospital.

but in a home care setting, nope, hasn't happened to me, anyway, that i was afraid of the patient or of their family, either.

I suppose, if i ever ever was justifiably afraid, i'd pull out my cell phone and dial 911 as i left the home, i guess, seems like that'd be what to do, but, never having experienced that, i don't know.

Different people have different comfort levels, i once had a coworker in ICU who was so so easily terrified, (i do mean terrified) all the time, over what seemed to me to be nothing. Lots of people scared her. but, i kind of think that was just something odd about her.