7 reasons to become a home care nurse

Demand for home health services has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses looking to advance their careers will find no shortage of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of patients and families every single day. That’s been HopeHealth Visiting Nurse’s mission for over a century. Here are seven reasons why HopeHealth Visiting Nurse is the right place for you.

1. One-on-one care

Home care health nurses play a meaningful part in the lives of their patients and their role has become even more important as COVID-19 restrictions keep many people at home. A visiting nurse helps reduce a patient’s risk of exposure to infectious diseases in public. They also may be one of only a few people a patient ever sees for an extended period of time.

“I like the one-on-one with the patients,” says HopeHealth Case Manager Lisa Moran, RN.

“You get to give them more individualized attention. I think the patients like it better and you get to concentrate on one patient at a time, which is always a good thing.”

That personal relationship with patients allows nurses to better meet their needs and advocate for them as necessary.

“Every day I feel like I’m making a difference,” says Diane Ellis, RN, a HopeHealth Visiting Nurse admission nurse.

Home care nurse taking patient's blood pressure at home

2. Reputation for excellence

HopeHealth Visiting Nurse is the only home health care agency in Rhode Island to be certified by The Joint Commission in community-based palliative care. We have a five-star rating for patient satisfaction on Medicare’s Home Health Compare and rank above the national average on quality measures for patient care and family caregiver satisfaction.

“We have a 5-star rating,” Diane says. “That speaks for itself. I know that’s not easy to get. I have 100% confidence in my colleagues because we all had to work together to achieve this rating.”

The organizations focus on quality care also means nurses have clear protocols and backup from managers when they need it most.

3. Flexibility

Case Manager Jessica Normandin, RN, says the ability to adjust her schedule if a patient requires more of her time is one of the greatest satisfactions of her job.

“The flexibility is fantastic,” Jessica says. “I can really schedule my day the way I need to. If I know there are patients who require more extensive care on a particular day, I can adjust my schedule to meet those patients’ needs.”

Typically, she adds, nurses like handling these kinds of schedule changes on their own. But they can also call their supervisor for rescheduling assistance, especially when they can tell that one visit will put them behind enough to impact others that day.

Elderly patient reaching out to hug her home care nurse

4. Teamwork

You may be independent as a home care nurse but you’re definitely not alone at HopeHealth. Home health teams include social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, home health aides and other skilled caregivers working together to help patients recover from illness or surgery or learn how to manage and continue to live well with a chronic illness.

“I have a wonderful manager,” Lisa says. “I love my team. We collaborate really well. We all work well together.”

Jessica shares that teams are responsive and motivated to help when it comes to meeting the needs of patients and families.

“There’s always someone here to reach out to if you have questions or concerns,” Jessica says.

5. Educational assistance

Nurses interested in furthering their education can feel fully supported by HopeHealth. In fact, HopeHealth provides full-time staff a stipend of up to $2,500 to cover eligible educational expenses each year. Part-time staff working a minimum of 20 hours per week qualify for a pro-rated amount.

You can take your nursing education from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree or pursue your master’s. The stipend can also be applied to certifications in palliative care, Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) reporting, HIV/AIDS, wound care or other specialties. Other eligible expenses include the costs of attending seminars, workshops and conferences and preparation courses for professional exams and certificate programs.

“There are so many different specialties that you can go into,” says HopeHealth Director of Quality and Compliance Loretta Winde RN, ACRN, COS-C.

“Now with so many programs online there are more options to further your education. This year, conferences are more challenging but you can still attend virtually.”

A multi-ethnic group of nursing students are attending class together. They are seated at a long table in a classroom. The individuals are working in pairs on a project. The two women seated closest to the camera are being assisted by their female professor who is showing them something on a digital tablet.

6. Room to grow

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for home health care at the same time the area’s rapidly aging population is ensuring continued demand for nursing professionals for many years to come.

HopeHealth continues to offer opportunities for nurses to advance their careers to the next level through professional education and movement to other roles within the organization.

“There’s definitely room to change positions and roles within HopeHealth,” Diane says. “That’s also great.”

7. Patient-centered focus, staff-centered strategy

The pandemic brought a sea of change to the forge ahead the attitude that pervades health care. HopeHealth has enlisted strong safety protocols to protect its employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“We don’t want you working unless you’re at 100% and feeling 100%,” Winde says.

HopeHealth made sure staff members had the personal protective equipment (PPE) they needed even when supply was limited at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. All employees receive a daily screening text survey to report symptoms of COVID-19 and attest to being symptom free prior to going to work. Anyone reporting symptoms is not allowed to return to work until they’re well.

Home care staff who visit assisted living facilities are tested for the coronavirus on a weekly basis with six clinics offered three days a week at different locations.

“The staff are appreciative of the testing because they want to take care of their patients,” Winde says.

“We are here to support the well-being of our staff. We offer resources for self-care, provide support services through Coastline EAP, and of course welcome staff to take a mental health day when needed,” she says.

HopeHealth Visiting Nurse is currently hiring RNs and LPNs, offering generous benefits packages and sign-on bonuses! Click here to learn more and apply.

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