Are you interested in travel nursing? Does the idea of working independently in a dynamic environment while also making a big impact on your patients and their families sound rewarding? Then becoming a traveling home health nurse could be the perfect fit for you!
Travel nurses who specialize in home health care should be prepared to take on a wide variety of responsibilities, including:
- - Helping with daily activities such as bathing, feeding, and dressing
- - Assisting patients with mobility challenges
- - Administering medications
- - Taking vital signs
- - Drawing blood
- - Cleaning wounds
But, working as an RN outside of a traditional setting and caring for patients from the comfort of their own homes does come with its own unique set of challenges and rewards.
What can you expect working as a home health nurse?
Find Independence for Your Patient and Yourself
As a home health nurse, you need to be able to work independently.
When you are taking care of a patient in their own home, you’ll be away from the resources offered by a traditional hospital setting—there won’t be a doctor or medical team in the next room and you won’t have access to crash carts or other types of hospital equipment. So, you’ll need to be confident in your ability, be quick to solve a problem, and at times, be creative.
While taking care of patients in an autonomous environment may sound a little unnerving at first, working as a home health nurse gives you ample opportunity to finetune your abilities and put your assessment and teaching skills to use.
Ultimately, one of your main goals as a home health nurse is to educate your patients (and their families) on how to manage their needs at home so that they are able to maintain a level of wellness, stay out of acute care, and remain independent.
Choose Work Schedules That Are Adapted to Your Patients
The average workday of a home health nurse looks quite different than that of a RN working in a traditional hospital environment.
Instead of standing on your feet for a 12-hour shift on the hospital floor, you’ll be working more independently, meaning you can be more flexible with how you schedule out your day. Since you are meeting with each of your patients in their homes, you will have to account for things like patients’ personal schedules and appointments, the time it takes you to commute between homes, and even weather conditions. Keep in mind that your schedule might also look a bit different from week to week as you start taking care of new clients with different needs.
Depending on your employer, you may even have the opportunity to choose between more traditional “9-5” work hours and a flexible schedule that allows you to work in the evenings or on weekends.
Form Rewarding Relationships with Patients
From elderly patients to newborns, home health nurses are responsible for taking care of patients from all walks of life.
By visiting a patient in their home, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know your patients and their families on a more personal level—you’ll be able to sit and talk to your patients about the photographs on their wall, interact with their pets, or even smell what they are cooking. These experiences can help foster a connection between a nurse and their patient that may not have developed as easily in a busy hospital.
By seeing your patients’ homes, you will also be able to:
- - Get a feel of their day-to-day lifestyle
- - Learn what kind of support network they do or do not have
- - Understand what resources they are actively taking advantage of
- - Potentially identify other variables that could be impacting their health or recovery
While cultivating these types of relationships with your patients can be a very fulfilling aspect of home health nursing, it is important to remember that you may not be viewed as welcome company in every patient’s home. Your empathy and patience will be key factors in your success.
Think a career as a traveling home health nurse would be a good fit for you? Contact us today or search job openings to learn more about the benefits CoreMedical Group offers and why we’re the go-to travel nursing agency.