Why do you like home care? What are the advantages?

Specialties Home Health


I am reading through the threads and I see more negative than positive working in home care. Why do you continue to work in the home care field? I am curious.

I have been a nurse for 3 years and have worked in LTC and a med/surg floor in a large hosp. I do like home health much more than those positions. Of course it has its positives and minuses but all in all I like being a home health nurse. I like my flexibility and my patients. Most of my patients truly appreciate my help. I have been told by other nurses that you either like home health and stay for a long time or you don't and last less then 6 months. I always say things are not always greener but you never know until you try it.

Specializes in telemetry, ICU, cardiac rehab, education.

I too have been reading about home health nursing. I have been a nurse for more than 20 years and have worked in a hospital setting most of those years. However, I decided I needed to try other avenues of nursing and just recently started a home health job. I too have heard you either really like it or you really don't. I am hoping I am in the really like it group. I enjoy reading about how other nurses feel about this area of nursing. Thanks to twokidsmom for the positive statement about you never know until you try it.

Specializes in Med/surg, rural CCU.

I did home care for awhile and LOVED it. But, it can vary greatly by the family you work with. Also- I would hate home care that I had to travel a lot. I did homecare that had 24/7 care, so I went to one place in a shift, not multiple homes. I considered quitting my primary job for home care, but know pay isn't as consistent. If my patient is in the hospital, or passes away, I lose pay. (though yes, i lose pay with low census in the hospital)

Simple, I can do more for my one client without anyone (usually, except for the family) breathing down my neck and can see what I have accomplished on a daily basis. I do not have a laundry list of things I did not accomplish by the end of the shift like I did when working with 80 clients in a LTC facility.

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management.

When I was a field nurse, I loved being able to spend time with my patients, truly focus on them and their needs without being interrupted by call lights, telephone calls, doctors, therapists, phlebotomy, etc. I liked the time in the car between patients to eat, decompress, listen to the radio, and be alone. I felt like I had the time to devote to them to help them adjust their lifestyles, rather than throw some pills at them and run on to the next one. It's not for everyone, though, and while we may gripe about our jobs, it's really true that the worst day in home health is better than the best day in the hospital.

It takes a certain kind of nurse to succeed in home health: excellent clinical skills, excellent critical thinking and decision making abilities, organization beyond all measure, flexibility to adjust to the needs of patients and the agency's staffing needs, and a sense of humility. If you are set in your ways, don't like to learn new ways to do things, always want everything done perfectly, and expect to have a set schedule, then you will fail miserably. Some days you'll beat the school bus home, some days the bus will beat you. Some days you'll be done at noon and have little paperwork to catch up on, some days you will be out past 5 to get all your visits done and still have a mountain of paperwork to do. There will be times that you are completely in over your head, and there will be days that patients or family members scream obscenities at you. There will also be times that you catch a DVT, the beginings of a CHF exacerbation, early pneumonia, and save a life. You will have hugs and threats. You will be offerred all kinds of foods, including some that you may never have seen before. (Always accept food if offered. You don't have to eat it, take it with you and tell them you'll eat it later. They are expressing their gratitude, accept it gracefully!) You will see mansions and you will see hovels. You have to accept people as they are, warts and all, and meet them where they are. You have to be humble, you are in their home. You have the ability and power to change lives, use it responsibly.

I cannot imagine doing anything else and enjoying it as much as I do home health.

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

I've been working pediatric home health care for four months after working more than a year in a SNF. At my old job, I'd leave for the day more often than not disappointed in my own job performance. When you have 25+ residents, it's very hard to give anyone your best, being so busy with a thousand other things. Then things weigh on my mind from the way home until I get back for the next shift, when I'd be back doing a half-a$$ed job again, ashamed of my work and angry at my employer for dumping so much on us nurses. In home health, you have ONE pt and are there for hours just for that person. You can do every last thing that person needs and sleep well that night (or day) knowing you gave your very best. I am always proud of myself when I leave work now. Plus if you get a nice appreciative family it is awesome.

KateRn1 said it all (except for the food part, I usually say "no thank you"!)

How many patients would you usually see in a day?

When you work in extended care, you work with one patient during your shift. When you work in intermittent visit care, you see as many patients in one day as can be scheduled and are expected of you by your employer. The typical workload is five or six visits per day.

I see 6-9 a day but my max was 10 in one day.

Specializes in Hospice, ONC, Tele, Med Surg, Endo/Output.

Home health or hospice are great positions for nurses who have grown weary and burned out by the aggravating and thankless routine of 8, 10, or 12 hour shifts in acute care basically babysitting, waitressing, and placating demented, drug-seeking, or non-compliant patients. Imagine, you see a patient for an hour, document right after the visit on the computer in your car, in their home, or in the ALF; take lunch when and where you want, drive from place to place in the comfort of your own car; and not have to deal with hospital drama and politics. If you enjoy working alone and solving problems without having to be told what to do all the time, then home health is the job for you. Also, not having ancillaries and medical doctors sitting in your spot, hogging the charts, making the nurse get lab results, really making the nurse do freaking EVERYTHING for God's sake!!...is a welcome relief. And how does not having to hunt down your CNA to help you change yet another code brown sound to you? How about not having to remind your CNA to do vitals again at hour four? No meals to serve to ungrateful patients who expect gourmet food, no pills to watch them take one by one by one, no narcotics to give slow iv push several times per shift, no call lights blaring, no useless intakes and outputs to record, no phones ringing non-stop, no family members arriving at all hours of the day and night, no butt-kissing of family members because the hospital wants all the money and no bad publicity; and not being stuck in a stuffy environment all day and feeling like you made the wrong decision by becoming a nurse. Nothing to me is more depressing than taking care of 5-6 annoying patients in the same place day after day and waiting for the oncoming nurse to arrive so you can give report and run for the elevator. And giving report is the worst--God forbid if the oncoming nurse has to actually do work. I would not take a job as a nurse in an acute care hospital setting again unless i could not find another home health/hospice situation. And i would desperately try first to obtain an outpatient surgery, urgent care, cardiac cath, or endoscopy job first. I am stuck being a nurse, but there is absolutely no reason for me to have a horrible job that i dread going to. After 16 years of hospital nursing i believe i deserve that much.

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