A career in home health is appealing to many nurses. The flexibility, clinical skill variety and one-on-one patient interactions is a perfect fit for licensed vocational/practical nurses and registered nurses. To help give you insight into the world of home health nursing, we had a Q & A session with Denise, our skilled registered nurse.
Tell me about your nursing experience.
I have been a nurse for since 2013. I started in trauma surgical ICU moved into geriatric trauma, worked in a med spa and then to home health.
What made you want to try home health?
I heard about the flexibility and wanted to try something new.
What keeps you working in home health?
I can be more involved with my children’s school activities and I love being able to help people in their own home environment.
What are 3 benefits of working in home health?
Flexible schedule, not stuck in a building all day and you are able to be more independent.
What are 3 differences in working in a facility vs. working home health?
You don't have someone looking over your shoulder all day in home health. There is freedom to take a lunch on your own. Generally, there is no heavy lifting of patients in skilled home health.
What types of nursing background or experience do well in home health?
Nurses will excel in home health if they have previous hospital experience with emphasis on Foley insertion, IV insertions, central line dressing changes, lab draws, and wound/incision care. Previous home health is a plus!
What is one thing that many people who are thinking about working in home health should be aware of, good or bad?
Beware that you may have days where you work longer than others but just remember that long days are not constant but can and will happen. Not all environments/homes we work in are the ideal situation and we sometimes have to make do with what we are given. Home health has given me more freedom to pursue extracurricular activities for myself and my family.
If you could offer any advice to a nurse doing home health for the first time, what would that be?
Make sure you are open to moving your schedule around for patients. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your fellow team members!
Any last words of advice for a nurse transitioning to home health?
Be prepared to manage your time and autonomy. Not all home health companies are the same, so you have to do your research!
Thank you Denise for taking a break from your busy schedule to share your advice for new home health nurses.
Do you have a question about home health nursing? Submit it here and our team will respond within 24 hours!