The recent pandemic has highlighted the importance of keeping at-risk patients at home to reduce their chances of viral exposure. Patients have been fearful of leaving their home for essential medical care, and many had illnesses that might have been prevented if they had received home health care.
Home health nurses also had an important realization: they were made for this moment because they’re experts in providing advanced care in the safety and comfort of a patient’s home.
Are you considering a career in home health? Read on for the top ten reasons why our nurses love their work.
1. One-on-One Care
Home health nursing is not about racing between rooms to care for multiple patients and respond to buzzers. Caring for patients at home means you have time to teach them about their disease or how to recover from an injury. You have time to answer questions and make sure that your patient truly understands. You can watch your patients progress over time. You get to know the family and can celebrate successes together.
2. Work/Life Balance
Home health nursing doesn’t involve working shifts. You work 40 hours a week, but have flexibility with how you structure the hours. If you prefer to start your day early so you can pick your kids up from soccer in the afternoon, you can do so. You may prefer to start later and then work later. You have some flexibility to manage your schedule while ensuring that you’re meeting your patient’s needs. You’ll do all of your charting and documentation before leaving your patient’s home, so at the end of the day you can focus on your family and personal life.
3. Work with Autonomy
Home health gives you a chance to work autonomously with each patient. You serve as the physician’s eyes and ears, assessing the patient and identifying the root cause of problems or warning signs of potential exacerbations. You can see first-hand the patient’s personal challenges and risk factors, which are things you would never know in a hospital or clinic setting. You provide valuable insight and recommendations for their care. It’s the perfect blend of compassionate care and advanced clinical and critical thinking.
4. But Still Be Part of a Team
Although you work independently in the home, you’re also part of a team of specialists who work together for patient care. Physical and Occupational Therapists and Assistants help patients with activities of daily living and therapeutic exercise in the home. Home Health Aides assist with personal care and hygiene. Social workers help with socioeconomic challenges. Other nurses with years of experience are just a phone call away. It’s truly an opportunity to coordinate care and close gaps to help your patients heal.
The pandemic also raised questions about occupational exposure and access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Oklahoma Home Care Network (OKHCN) clinicians have had an adequate PPE supply throughout the pandemic. When this article was written, about six months into the pandemic, OKHCN had NO cases of transmission between patients and employees. By working with a patient in the home, you are providing one-on-one care with less traffic and interruption.
6. Job Security
The preference for home-based care is growing. Many healthcare professionals now prefer to refer their patients to a home health agency versus a skilled nursing facility. Americans are aging, and they want to live safely and independently at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, OKHCN agencies did not have layoffs or furloughs as implemented by other healthcare organizations.
7. Open Communication
A Path of Care Network is Oklahoma-owned and operated. The owner, Brian F. Wilson, R.Ph., comes to offices regularly and is open to innovative and ethical ideas for improving patient care. Your ideas are valued as a member of the team, and you are not lost in a bureaucracy.
8. Ongoing Professional Development
Many services that once required patients to be hospitalized for treatment can now be provided in the home. You will have a chance to learn advanced skills and use technology to effectively manage your time. Everything you need, from medical records to communication from others on your team, is at your fingertips. You can discuss the patient’s plan of care at a case conference, and learn from colleagues with experience in diverse areas.
9. Ethical Professionalism
Owner Brian F. Wilson, R.Ph., was recently named one of Oklahoma’s Most Respected CEOs, and that is due in great part to his expectations of ethical care for Oklahoma’s frail and elderly patients. He holds everyone in the organization to the highest standards and has specific standards of care. When other agencies were turning away COVID-19 patients, A Path of Care Network agencies stepped up to ensure Oklahomans received the care that they needed. When you’re working in a patient’s home, you’ll be supported for doing the right thing, the right way.
10. When You Just Want More
Because you’re not racing from room to room, you have time to hear the wonderful stories from patients and their families. You learn from the wisdom of your patients’ life experiences. You can adapt your teaching to their life and environment. You bring the sunshine to their homes and become a part of their lives. It’s been described as a much “deeper” and more rewarding relationship between a patient and nurse. At the end of the day, you know you’re truly making a difference in someone’s life.
Ready to Join Us?
If you’d like to learn more about a career in home health with A Path of Care, call us at (844) 301-4705. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an application on our website.