Beginning a home health nursing career can be both exciting and daunting, especially if you're transitioning from a hospital setting. While the prospect of providing personalized care in the comfort of a patient's home is rewarding, it's normal to have concerns and insecurities about this shift. You might be worried about working on your own, having sufficient training, dealing with boredom, loneliness, and safety issues. In this blog post, we will address these concerns and provide guidance on how you and the right employer can alleviate them.
Working alone doesn’t mean you’re on your own
One of the most common concerns when considering home health nursing careers is the fear of working alone without immediate access to colleagues or supervisors. Ultimately, it comes down to how a provider answers this question, “What support will I get as a home health nurse.” Everyone is a little different and, for example, at BAYADA, we take proactive steps to support our nursing staff with a collaborative team approach.
Here are a few ways a dedicated support staff can offer much-needed support:
- Dedicated clinical managers: Clinical managers play a pivotal role in your home care journey. They provide a comprehensive orientation for each client's care, make regular supervisory visits, and should be readily available to address any concerns you may have.
- 24/7 on-call managers: Concerns can arise at any time. That's why an on-call manager should be available to assist you 24 hours a day in case of emergency or to answer urgent questions. Being able to count on immediate support, even during off-hours, offers great peace of mind.
- Emergency preparedness: Make sure you’re well-versed in emergency procedures and know when and how to escalate issues to your support team. Having a clear plan in place will boost your confidence.
Build confidence with ongoing training & continuing education
Feeling underprepared can be paralyzing—especially for new home care nurses. Training and orientation are crucial to feeling prepared and confident in your role, and a home healthcare provider who prioritizes your readiness and self-assurance with key elements like the following:
- SIM lab and hands-on training: The importance of hands-on experience cannot be overstated. Your home care nurse training should include simulation lab exercises and practical, real-world scenarios to ensure you're well-prepared for any situation.
- Clinical nurse manager guidance: When you're assigned to a new client, a clinical nurse manager or another experienced team member should personally orient you. They'll provide you with the essential insights and knowledge you need to deliver the highest quality care.
New routines bring new connections & opportunities
While home health nursing careers may seem boring or simply less dynamic compared to a bustling hospital environment, it presents unique opportunities to build a meaningful connection with their client while developing practical skills:
- Client-centered care: Embrace the chance to deliver personalized care, forging deep connections with your clients and their families. Tailor your interventions to their specific needs, nurturing a bond that goes beyond health care.
- Complex care opportunities: Home care nursing is often more detailed, allowing nurses to develop a full range of skills. From the intricacies of wound care to the precision of medication management, home care nurtures the development of a diverse skill set, providing nurses with a comprehensive and versatile experience.
Working in a client's home also doesn’t mean being alone
Another common concern when transitioning to home care is the fear of loneliness and loss of camaraderie between coworkers. Like we mentioned above, home care nurses often build real bonds with their clients—and sometimes the local community, too. Plus, providers with dedicated support staff offer plenty of opportunity to work with other members of your team.
- Team collaboration: Working with a clinical nurse manager and dedicated office staff offers plenty of opportunities to bounce ideas off each other, share concerns, and build the type of camaraderie that enhances your experience.
- Community participation: Home care nursing offers a unique opportunity to be an active participant in your local community. Your presence and dedication not only benefit individual patients but also contribute to the well-being and strength of the community as a whole.
Client matching & clinician safety
When pairing a home care nurse with a client, the safety of the nurse is as important as the client. Taking a personalized approach to matching like BAYADA does offers the best path toward a happy and safe environment for the client and the nurse.
Here’s how we do it at BAYADA:
- Client matching: Every new client benefits from an admission visit by a clinical nurse manager, followed by ongoing check-ins. These assessments allow us to understand the unique dynamics of the home environment and the needs of the family members.
- Pet checks: We recognize the importance of pets in many households. Our client matching process takes into account whether a client is pet-friendly, ensuring that both clients and nurses are comfortable with the furry members of the family.
Transitioning from a hospital to a home health nursing career can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. By addressing your concerns head-on and embracing the unique aspects of home care, you can find fulfillment and success as a home care nurse. Remember, you're never truly alone in home care nursing – you have your patients and a supportive care community by your side.