My Experiences In Home Health Care
Home Health Care gives patients that extra boost towards a quick recovery. In home health care, patients are allowed to finish their recovery in the comfort of their own homes. Different members of the treatment team visit patients at home to check on their progress. This brings the patient and family closer, while trained healthcare staff keep a watchful eye. This has helped to cut rising healthcare costs. The home health care team may consist of; doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and many more. Visits are scheduled when it is convenient for the patient and family. The care at home may last from a few days to several weeks or months. For the healthcare provider this job can be very fulfilling and exciting.
Home Health Care Range Of Duties
As a home health care nurse I was able to experience so much more than working in the hospital. First and foremost, I was able to connect with my patients and give them so much more of my time. I saw anywhere from 2 to 6 patients a day. I was paid per patient so I wasn't pushed for time. During these visits I would normally take care of things like:
- Diabetic Teaching
- Wound Care
- Injections or Intravenous Therapy
- Suture or Staple Removal
- Emotional Support
Of course the above was never set in stone. There are always so many things to do in home health care. I once stayed behind to help a patient with dishes. Another time, I ran the vacuum. I have even been known to run out to the store for orange juice and walk a dog. You never know what a day might bring, but it is always rewarding.
My experiences in home health care gave me lasting memories.
Some that I will never forget. I once sat and looked at family pictures with a patient. Turns out she had quite an amazing life.
There was also the lady with a teacup chihuahua named, Tiny. That little doggy was my best friend and even tried to escape in my medical bag once. Tiny just loved me. No matter how hard my days were sometimes, there was always something happy about them that made me smile. There were also days that made me sad. As with any healthcare job, patients are lost and in home health care that is tough. Normal hospital stays are 3 to 7 days on average. In home health care you might see a patient off and on for years. You get attached to them. You get attached to their families and going to their homes. Lasting memories.
My experiences in home health care helped me be at my own home more.
I did have to work a little on the weekends, but most days I was able to start work after the kids went to school and finish before they got home. I almost never worked more than 8 hours in home health every day. Gone were the long 12 hour shifts, the night shifts and the rotating schedules. I only worked on holidays if I was "on-call" and I was able to get rid of daycare. This really worked well for my family. I was able to take care of my own family and do what I loved as a career taking care of others. Home health care seemed to be a win-win situation all around.
Home Health Care Has Its Moments
I do have to admit, home health care isn't all roses. There is a lot of driving involved. I did up to a 100 mile radius. This meant some pretty long drives to the middle of nowhere land to visit a patient. They were always grateful for me coming out. Some days I just didn't feel like getting in my car at all. I developed things to make driving easier. I created a huge I-Pod playlist just for work songs and driving music. I kept gum and candy in the car, plus I packed my own lunch. It can get really tempting to drive through fast-food when you are out in the car and starving. Gas got expensive, but most companies pay a pretty good mileage allowance to help.
Even though there are some downsides, this type of healthcare job is one of the most rewarding you can find. If you like people, home health care might be as rewarding for you as it was for me.