As a home health nurse you can come across a variety of unique patients and a variety of unique situations. Here are some tips keep in mind when headed out to make your patient visits.
Be adaptable. You could be attending to your patient after hours and the pharmacy forgot to send home their IV pole. The hanger over a door may work or you may be able to come up with another alternative, while still making sure your modifications are safe and appropriate, until you are able to get the IV pole in the morning.
Have a good sense of humor.
Be flexible. Your day will change. Plans get deterred and even the most organized schedule can be thrown off with a simple “hiccup.” So be adaptable and open to flexibility.
Be prepared. Make sure you are arriving at your patient’s home with everything you need in the event they haven’t reordered their supplies or ran out of their dressings or maybe they picked up the wrong item.
Keep an open mind. Working in someone’s home, you aren’t in a controlled environment like the hospital or doctor’s office. You will come across a variety of different people, in all shapes and sizes with very different lifestyles and behaviors. Make sure you adhere to company policies and safety rules yet still be considerate or your patients’ requests while in their home.
Stay alert and be safe. Again, because you are no longer in a controlled environment, you may find yourself in an unsafe neighborhood. Visit those areas early in the morning, avoid distractions and be aware of your surroundings.
Hone your computer skills. Many agencies ask their home health nurses to carry and use laptops to chart or document your visit.
Stay current. Keep your skills up-to-date with continuing education classes, attending seminars, reading industry articles. You are very autonomous in your patients’ homes and being about to think on your feet and think quickly are necessary.
If you are looking for a career as an in-home health care companion or provider, click here to apply today!