Home health nursing has always been a vital part of our healthcare system. During the pandemic, home health visits soared as patients were trying to find ways to avoid coming into the hospitals that were saturated with COVID patients. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of home-based care services where more non-emergent patients received treatment via telehealth and home visits than in facilities. The home health sector is anticipated to create over 4 million jobs by 2027 as the population ages and the dynamics of how healthcare is delivered changes and moves towards a more efficient system.
What is Home Health Nursing?
Home health nurses visit patients in their homes to provide one-on-one medical care. Home health patients may be elderly, physically disabled, suffering from a chronic disease, or recovering from an injury or accident. Home health nurses practice in a non-traditional work environment and often care for the same patients long-term, which may appeal to those looking for a change of pace from a hospital or clinical setting.
The home health nursing specialty is open to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses, depending on the position.
What do Home Health Nurses do?
The duties of home health nurses vary based on the patient’s needs and whether care is provided by an LPN or an RN. Certain tasks, such as administering IV medications, are beyond the scope of practice for LPNs without further certification. Home health nurses provide basic patient care with various duties, including:
- Taking and monitoring vital signs
- Caring for wounds
- Administering medication
- Drawing blood for labs
- Assisting with ADLs
Home health nurses also keep detailed patient records and may inspect patients’ home medical equipment, such as ventilators, infusion pumps, and dialysis machines to ensure they are working correctly.
Nursing Burnout (and How Changing It Up Can Help)
Home health can be an effective way to avoid burnout or get away from the bedside for the nurses who are really feeling the strain post-pandemic or just looking for a change! With the integration of telehealth visits, home health can also provide an opportunity for nurses who are looking to work remotely, whether it be full or part time.
Home health can be a very rewarding break from the bedside and direct patient care. The environment isn’t as stressful and you can forge bonds with patients that you may not have time to do while working in a hospital. It can be fulfilling to see a patient’s condition improve for the better over time as you continue to make visits. Plus, home health nurses don’t have to deal with physician rounds, multiple tests and procedures, or the constant hum of hospital machinery and equipment.
A lot of nurses have been inquiring about remote jobs, and telehealth home visits can fall into this category. The telehealth portion of home health may be full or part time, but it’s a great way to find a better work-life balance. Nurses can find other remote work, such as working for an insurance company, but may find they miss the patient interaction and can struggle with decisions about going back to the bedside. Home health still allows nurses to interact with patients and have influence on their care, without having to deal with the chaotic work atmosphere of bedside nursing.
Where do Home Health Nurses Work?
Home health nurses typically work in their patients’ homes, but they may care for patients who reside in an assisted living facility. Nurses typically work for home health agencies, which match them to patients, but they may also be employed by retirement communities, medical centers, insurance companies, government organizations, or travel nursing agencies. Home health nurses may work with a single patient full-time or visit multiple patients every day.
The COVID-19 pandemic also spurred the incorporation of telehealth, or remote visits, into the home health arena. Providers are finding ways to see and assess patients with minimal contact to ensure social distancing and also provide more efficient care by seeing more patients in a shorter period of time.
Where can I find a Home Health Job?
Vivian has permanent, travel, local, and per diem home health jobs for nurses posted. We have some awesome perm jobs posted from SSM health and Cross Country that have some great perks, aside from the break from the bedside!
There are over one thousand travel jobs posted in home health, some of which are paying over $3000 per week!
Vivian is also partnering with multiple home health agencies to bring even more home health jobs to our site. We’ve always prided ourselves on listening to the pulse of the healthcare community and we hear you- you’re burnt out and want change! We have some great jobs coming for home health and we hope we can help you shape your career exactly how you see it!