5 Benefits of Being a Home Health Nurse
Would you like to work in healthcare and wear cute women’s scrubs without stepping foot into a hospital? Why not consider a career as a home health nurse? Home healthcare continues to be a fast-growing industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, assuming an annual growth rate of 5%, by 2024, 760,400 new jobs will have been created in the home healthcare industry. Why is home healthcare such an attractive career option for nurses? Every nurse has a reason for working in the industry. Still, the following five benefits are why nurses move out of the hospital setting and turn to in-home patient care.
1. Home Health Care Is More Flexible
Traditional hospital nursing schedules keep nurses on their feet for 12-hour shifts, often dealing with multiple patients at once and operating in survival mode. Many nurses switch course, trading their hospital scrub tops for home healthcare scrubs because they want don’t want to work in a controlled setting. They seek more freedom over their schedule and less stress. A typical day in the life of a home health nurse might include providing counsel and care to patients and caregivers, driving from appointment to appointment, and helping patients meet their most pressing needs. They provide one-on-one contact with patients, talking to them and assisting them by helping them take charge of their health. All the patient care services home health nurses offer can be scheduled to maintain a better work-life b
2. Develop Deeper Relationships With Patients
Ask any hospital nurse what they wish they had more time for, and the typical answer is that they wish they had more time with their patients getting to know them. In a hospital setting, nurses must often focus on metrics, stabilizing patients, and moving them out of critical care units (or even sending them home) as quickly as possible. There’s rarely time for meaningful interaction with patients, interactions that impact health and well-being. Yet, for many nurses, the primary motivation for choosing a nursing career is to provide well-rounded patient care. Traveling home health nurses have more freedom and time with their patients. They not only get to assess their patients’ home environments to help them provide the best care, but they also get to know their patients (and their families) on a deeper level. That’s nearly impossible in a traditional hospital setting. Many home healthcare nurses enjoy hearing patients’ stories, such as where they grew up, their traveling experiences, and their families. If you value time and quality with your patients, a career as a home healthcare nurse might be a good choice for you.
3. Opportunity to Make More Money
According to ZipRecruiter, as of July 2022, home healthcare nurses make an average of $35.31 per hour nationwide. The hourly wages vary depending on where you live. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that hospital nurses make $37.31 per hour. At first glance, it seems like the money’s in traditional nursing. Yet, home health nurses have the opportunity to make more by taking on more patients. Could traditional nurses do the same? Yes, hospital nurses can pick up more shifts, but they have less control over time and availability. Most hospital nurses are required to work entire shifts, which could add another 12-hour day to one’s workweek. Traveling nurses have the option to add a client or two to their workload, which translates to an extra hour or two to their workweek. They can also work for several home healthcare companies at once to maximize their earnings. Traveling nurses can also deduct expenses on their taxes for things like purchasing supplies and mileage. These deductions reduce your tax liability and keep more money in your pocket. Of course, always work with a tax professional to make sure you’re deducting everything you’re eligible to deduct.
4. Traveling Nurses Enjoy More Independence
There are numerous stressors working in a hospital or medical office setting. Still, one that many traditional nurses deal with daily is having a lack of freedom to make decisions. Home healthcare nurses have autonomy and independence. They don’t have to worry about administrative staff looking over their shoulders and questioning their choices. Sure, home healthcare nurses must give reports about their patients, but they don’t have the constant stress of having a boss always on their heels.
5. A Less Stressful Career Path
Working in high-stress environments like an emergency room or a behavioral health setting isn’t for everyone. A Surgeon General’s Advisory issued in May 2022 stated that healthcare workers face burnout at alarming rates, especially as healthcare worker shortages continue and systemic challenges test hospitals across the country. If you want a nursing career that’s in a low-stress environment, home healthcare might be the right path for you. The atmosphere is still professional, but you aren’t dealing with patients who have immediate trauma or are in life-or-death situations.
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A Rewarding Career Path
The biggest reward for home healthcare nurses isn’t the flexibility, such as choosing women’s scrub bottoms that match their personality, nor is it the scheduling or pay. The greatest reward for these professionals is helping others and forming long-lasting, meaningful connections with their patients. We know the relationship between nurses and patients is powerful and support home health nurses by offering them the clothing and accessories they need to put forth a professional appearance and do their jobs well. Positive interactions with a medical professional improve a patient’s mental health, lower their stress, and go a long way toward keeping them healthy and happy. Everyone wins in a home health situation where patient care is centric and valued above everything else.