Have you ever wondered what a day would look like as a home health clinician? Here is a typical picture, with a little added humor!
8:00 AM: Check email for new patients, finish yesterday’s paperwork, and organize schedule. Make a huge water bottle and vow to stay hydrated. Forget to pack a lunch. Oops, today is the last day to change my password! Better get to the office…
8:30 AM: Drive to office to gather supplies for new patient and change password on computer. Run into coworker and discuss a patient concern, gather supplies, and 30 minutes later get password fixed. Use the bathroom before leaving for a day on the road (AMIRIGHT?)! Grab a snickers out of the candy bowl for lunch.
9:15 AM: Arrive for first patient visit (15 minutes late…). Apologize, complete visit. and then sit in your car/office for a minute afterwards to call your two new patients to see this afternoon.
10:05 AM: Arrive for second visit (who lives one mile from the first visit- bonus!!!), and patient is not home! Call patient twice, no answer. Text coworkers and call office, and one of them thinks they had a physician appointment. Call the patient back and leave them a message that you will try to see them later. Call the next patient to let them know you will be early. (Thank goodness, they are fine with that!)
11:00 AM: Drive across town to see actual second (planned third) patient, find out they fell in the bathroom tripping on the rug you had asked to remove, last night- thankfully they are OK. Fill out additional paperwork, call Dr, and email the other clinicians. Patient agrees to put rug away for now (Yea!). Get phone call back from first new patient and set up visit to see them next.
–Sit in car for a few minutes to call second new patient, and leave another message. Call office to let them know you haven’t reached them yet- and find out if they have heard anything. You eye your water and want to drink, but don’t want to have to stop for a bathroom break… 🙁
–STUCK IN CONSTRUCTION FOR 15 MIN–
12:30 PM: See first new patient, complete evaluation, and notify physician and other clinicians of your plan. Hear back from patient who was gone to Dr. appointment, and schedule them next. Try caregiver contact for second new patient.
-Drive back across town to (original 2nd) patient who lived one mile from the first patient (sigh).
2:00 PM: Great visit with original 2nd patient, now fourth patient. You learn they have new orders from the Dr, and you email the other clinicians so they are aware. Update home instructions for new orders. Patient feels bad about the mix up, you tell them no problem, it happens :).
3:00 PM: Call office to see if there’s any update on your last patient. No news, so your supervisor tells you to head home and do paperwork. You realize you never ate lunch or took a bathroom break- but you’ll just try to make it home! 10 minutes from home and the office calls back- they got ahold of your second new patient, who accidentally turned their phone ringer off, and they want you to come after all. Quickly get off at next exit and pull into coffee shop. Go inside and order a snack, use bathroom and take a minute to read directions and paperwork. Drink water.
3:30 PM: You begin final visit of the day, a “Start of Care”. 90 minutes later you head home for paperwork. You realize it’s too late to call the Dr, so you’ll make a note on tomorrow morning’s schedule to follow up with Dr and email the clinical team.
5:15 PM: You arrive home, start dinner, and do paperwork until it’s time to eat (while you make your kids do their home work). Oops, remember you set a new password… You check and send emails, drink water, call tomorrow’s patients, and vow to take a lunch break and drink more water!
One last email check, and you find the office forwarded a note from one of your patients thanking you for helping them get well:) And you remember why you do what you do!!
Check out this awesome nurse mug for yourself or your favorite nurse!
Or this health care worker mug for yourself or your favorite therapist!
What has your experience been like in home health care? Do you have any funny stories to share?