GUIDE TO PROVIDING HOME HEALTH CARE AS A TRAVEL NURSE
There are many perks and benefits to becoming a traveling home nurse. However, for some people, constantly traveling to various hospitals and learning different procedures may not be desirable.
Home health care nursing is an excellent opportunity to connect with more patients one-on-one and assist them in a more personal setting. Home care nurses are more than just caregivers; oftentimes, they are lifelines for many homebound people with severe medical needs.
For patients who must remain at home either temporarily or permanently, home care nurses are essential for their caretaking and sometimes even emotional support.
Along with a higher salary, home health care nursing offers many benefits for traveling nurses. This type of nursing allows for a way to learn more and gain experience in your nursing role with several options for locations and assignments. Home care nursing is a perfect employment opportunity for nurses looking to explore new places while still maintaining their job duties and helping those in need.
The Demand for Home Health Care Nurses
As Americans age, there is a growing trend of “aging in place.” There is a certain level of comfort associated with healing at home. It allows for more flexibility to see family members and friends and not have to stress over the expense of senior care facilities. Home health care nursing becomes even more critical as the stay-at-home population grows.
It is predicted that in the coming years, the demand for home health care nurses will grow by 34%, which is much faster than average. This is because there is a larger population reaching retirement age, and many are preferring to be cared for in the comfort of their own home.
Home health care nurses provide care for more than 5 million Americans annually. While some assignments are on a temporary basis, there are many instances where long-term care is necessary for the patients’ survival.
Once people are past retirement age, families must consider how their aging loved ones will be cared for. Many aging individuals are fully capable of staying at home rather than receiving their care in an assisted living facility.
Home health care nursing is a great alternative that can give families the peace of mind that their aging loved ones will be cared for properly. Home care nursing is the preferred method of care for those who are disabled, elderly, and chronically ill, but can stay home without the full-time assistance of senior living. Patients are able to receive medical treatment and heal where they feel the safest.
What Do Home Health Care Nurses Do?
The average assignment length for home health care nurses is thirteen weeks. Home care nurses have a wide range of responsibilities, including post-surgery care, wound care management, vital check-ins, and medical distribution. Along with hands-on care, home care nurses have administrative work such as paperwork and patient charting. They also assist the patients with any medical needs that may arise and offer emotional support.
There are multiple specialties that home health care nurses can go into, including:
Along with a broad range of responsibilities and duties, home health nurses usually work independently. Even though you may interact with patients and their families, you won’t have the constant support from other medical staff of doctors and nurses like you would in a hospital setting. Occasionally, you may work with another nurse or specialist during one assignment, but more than likely, you will be working alone.
You must be able to make judgment calls, decisions, and administer care on your own. Home health care nurses are essential in the lives of these patients as caregivers, and it’s your job to offer medical care so that the patient can become more independent and continue to stay safe in their home environment.
Reasons to Travel as a Home Health Care Nurse
There are several benefits to becoming a home health care travel nurse, and many of these extend beyond the higher salary and perks associated with the position.
Home care nursing allows for time spent out in communities and working closely with patients and families. These nurses have the opportunity to help a variety of patients in varying situations and home settings while also learning new skills along the way.
1. Helping More Patients
Home health care nursing offers a more personalized experience for each individual patient. As a home care nurse, you offer needed medical and emotional support for those who are homebound. Every day may look slightly different depending on the situation, especially because each patient you treat and care for is different.
There is also a huge need for home health care nurses in rural areas where seeing a doctor at a medical office or hospital may not be as feasible. People who live in rural areas may need doctors to come to them for medical treatment or care. Home care nursing gives patients in these locations the opportunity to receive the proper care they may need.
Home care nurses play a vital role in helping those who cannot go to the doctor themselves, whether for medical or location reasons. By having a more extensive outreach, home care nurses are a part of a larger network that works to help more patients in all areas of the country.
2. Learning Opportunities
As a home health care nurse, there are many opportunities to gain experience and develop a wide variety of skills. Home care nurses must work independently, so you learn to rely on yourself and your own skills and training.
There are also learning opportunities in meeting people from various locations. Home care nurses encounter many different people, giving them the ability to learn about family backgrounds, cultures, and traditions.
Being in the home setting allows for more open conversation and downtime with the patient, so it’s easier to get to know patients on a more personal level. Home care nursing really allows for the opportunity to learn more about your profession and the lives of others. You can learn and discover a new area, and you gain more autonomy and flexibility in your work.
3. Pay and Benefits of Travel Nursing
The average base salary for a Home Health Registered Nurse as of June 2021 was $68,349 per year. However, salary can range anywhere from $50,000 to $93,000, and this doesn’t take into consideration the benefits travel nurses have on top of their salary.
Pay and benefits can vary depending on the region and employer, and other factors can affect salary, including years of experience and education level. You can work with nursing staffing agencies such as OneStaff Medical to find a position that fits your needs.
With home health care nursing, your pay is based on home visits, travel time between visits, car and gas reimbursement, and any hours worked at offices or other facilities.
Advice for Traveling as a Home Health Care Nurse
Our experience working with many home health care nurses throughout the years has given the recruiters at OneStaff Medical a unique insight into what these nurses do day in and day out. With this experience, we would like to share the following advice with those considering traveling as home health care nurses.
- Give yourself time to adjust: Being a home health care nurse can be overwhelming at first because of the different rules and regulations you must learn. It may feel slightly discouraging, so give yourself time to fully adjust to the home nursing job and its demands before giving up on it. You are more likely to enjoy it after getting past the first few months and establishing a routine.
- Remain open-minded: Home care nurses have to adjust accordingly to whatever patient situation they encounter. Many patients will have very unique backgrounds and medical needs. Stay open to learning new skills and getting to know each patient individually.
- Track your hours: There may be a lot of grey zone where you’ll feel unsure about being paid or not. Make sure to keep track of your hours whenever you’re doing anything related to your job. Even if you’re traveling between patient visits, you should still be paid and reimbursed.
Overall, home health care nursing provides a flexible schedule, the opportunity to see and explore different places, and the ability to balance work with home life by seeing friends and family.
If you’re interested in becoming a home health care travel nurse, OneStaff Medical is here for you. We offer resourceswith any information you might need.
Or browse all of our top-paying positions Home Health Travel RNS jobs open across the country now (here).
To learn more about us, contact us today at 877-783-1483.