So you thing you might want to try Home Care?
I have been working in health care for over 30 years now! Over half of that time I have worked in Home Health. I have made a list of my top “Pro and Con” experiences to help those who might be considering a transition to work in this growing field…
PROs of Working in Home Health Care:
1. Your treatment time will always be on a one to one basis (unless you have a married couple -<3). This is my favorite PRO. Your patient has your complete attention. You don’t have to be pulled to multiple tasks, or juggle clients, like an outpatient or rehab setting. This environment is top notch when it comes to patient education and family training!
2. You work with a patient in their own home, so you are in their setting for applicable safety education. They are learning to be safe on their own actual chairs and beds, and in their own particular garages and bathrooms. Hospital and rehab clinics try to replicate these spaces, but are not able to be exact.
3. You work with a patient in their own home, so you are in their environment to set them up for best possible followthrough. You can help them set up visual and physical reminders for safety, hydration, home exercises, long term best practise, and self care.
4. You have somewhat of a ‘down time’ in your car between visits. Health care is physically taxing, and a mental and/or physical break can be helpful.
5. Your schedule can be very flexible. Depending on your other interests or family needs, you can schedule your visits to fit your activities, for most employers .
CONs of Working in Home Health Care:
1. Always one to one treatment means minimal input from, or interaction with, field coworkers. It can be lonely and less stimulating to not have feedback and insight from other professionals throughout the day.
2. You work with a patient in their own home, which can be difficult to maneuver through: piles of ‘stuff’, unsanitary conditions, or resistance/inability to modify unsafe areas.
3. You work with a patient in their own home, which usually means you are limited with equipment. It takes time and research to provide “creative home therapy” to teach and challenge them.
4. You spend a lot of time in your car, which means your car can get messy, and you may become exhausted from all the driving! Homes may be difficult to locate, or you may have a long distance to drive.
5. Your schedule can be very hectic. You may drive 20 miles to find your patient is not home, or get a call from the office at noon to squeeze in an extra patient. There is incredible variety at times.
Check out this book by a CFPS geriatric OT for great ideas to help your patients.
Check out this link for a great home care bag that will save your shoulders!
For a humorous version of a typical day working in home health care see this post! If you decide to take the plunge into home care, here are some great tips for making the transition! And don’t forget to be prepared with patient centered educational handouts for maximal efficiency and effectiveness!
I would love to know your pros and cons of home care! What has your experience been? What tips would you give to someone considering a job in this field?
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