Nurses are a dedicated and compassionate group of people who do their best daily to ensure that their patients get well. However, nurses working in facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities often report feeling overworked and disillusioned with their jobs. For some, home health care could be the solution they’re seeking.
Struggles of nurses working in care facilities
Nurses working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics report facing various challenges in their daily work. According to NPR, burnout levels are very high, especially among nurses and medical assistants who were on the front lines of care during the COVID-19 crisis, and are compounded by short-staffing and unmanageable workloads.
While burnout is generally thought of as fatigue, the World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress that has not been managed successfully. Sufferers have feelings of exhaustion, negative or cynical feelings towards their jobs, and reduced professional efficacy.
Increasing burnout levels have even affected nursing students’ perception of the profession. A 2021 survey of 571 nursing students and nurses conducted by Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing showed that 2/3 of respondents shared some interest in leaving the profession. This was due to burnout (24%), insufficient nursing staff (17%), overwork and stress (13%), unsatisfactory pay or benefits (12%), and unsafe or unsatisfactory working conditions (7%).
For nurses who provide critical patient care, burnout can be dangerous. Ernest Grant, president of the American Nurses Association, told NPR, “It’s not good for their mental health; it’s not good for the work environment. There’s increased chance for mistakes, medication errors.”
Home care nursing can help
If you are a nurse in a facility dealing with burnout or a nursing student concerned about entering the profession, home care nursing could be a great opportunity!
Home care nurses have more freedom and autonomy than traditional nursing roles. You’ll have the flexibility to choose your schedule and work with one patient on a long-term basis or multiple patients. Home care nurses also have a chance to focus on a holistic, targeted approach to patient care. It can also be an entry-level job, so as long as you have the proper education and credentials – home care can be a great way to jumpstart your career!
The field of home nursing is expected to grow over the next eight years. This is due to a variety of factors including patients being discharged from hospital sooner due to financial pressures, a large senior population that prefers being independent at home, and home health care being less expensive than traditional health care or skilled living facilities.
A Maxim story
Samantha Solesbee, a Clinical Manager at Maxim, started her career as a nurse in a hospital on a cardiac ICU floor. After relocating to Colorado, she worked in the float pool and found herself needing extra income to purchase a home. “The thought of picking up a full 12-hour shift at the hospital was daunting. That put me at a 48 hour work week, four full days away from my son, and the hospital didn’t want to pay overtime, so my picked up shifts were often canceled.”
Her solution was home health nursing. Samantha applied for a PRN home health position at Maxim. The company worked with her to find shifts and visits that fit her availability, allowing her to make additional income without working a full shift. Samantha said, “I loved the flexibility of my schedule and the one-on-one time I had with each patient I worked with in home care. I also enjoyed getting the opportunity to use nursing skills that I didn’t get to use in the hospital setting, such as working with vents, trachs, Mickey Buttons, implanted ports, wound care, SP catheters, etc.”
After working in the field, Samantha was approached about moving to a Clinical Supervisor role – an entry-level manager position with room to grow. After working as a Clinical Supervisor for five years, she was promoted to Clinical Manager.
Samantha praises home health as the best career move she’s made. “I have higher job satisfaction than I had in the hospital, I feel in control of my career and it’s progression…and I still get to do what I love, and that’s take care of patients and their families.”
“Home health is so much more than what I was exposed to in nursing school and I wish that more people would give it a try – whether it be to earn extra income, build strong relationships with patients, explore different nursing skills, or start your management career – all while making good money!”