I asked Grace what she was looking for in Nurses out there that may want to work in the Home Health Care field and wanted to join her team.
She said she is looking for nurses that are well rounded and who like people and love caregiving not just a love for the money. She said there is a difference between the two, and I would be inclined to agree with her.
I asked Grace about her team and what she felt was unique about them? What stands out to you about them?
Grace said Priority Home Health is owned by her and her husband and because she is a nurse and her husband is a physician assistant they can help each other as medical questions, and concerns arise with her clients.Keith: What would a nurse expect when working with a family in home health care?
Grace said, “One of the most important things is that you’re going to be working independently, that there would be no issues with having any disagreements with other care givers because you are in the home at a particular time and when you leave someone else takes over. That independence, if you like independence then, that is good. You also end up developing personal relationships with the family and you are getting to meet them at a point where they are really needing help. At times what they need may have nothing to do with caregiving itself, but you are there for them, for whatever reason they need. For me, that personal relationship, and friendship is one of the things that attracts me to home health. You get to know the person, not just because they are in a bed and can’t move but the journey of how they got there. You also learn about their background and their kids.
Keith: Do you think this makes you feel more engaged and invested with them? Grace: Yes.”
Keith: Are the snacks better in the homes I asked Grace?
Grace: “Yes, there is the smell of fresh bread, fresh coffee”.
Grace also experienced Zoey our little white dog who goes back and forth from our house next door and over to mom and dad’s house. Grace said her little eyes when she runs in to say hello make her really want to have a dog. (Good answer) Grace went on to say she has not been around dogs much and she never thought she would ever say that she would like to have a dog. When she worked at the hospital, pets were not always around unless it was a support dog or something like that! Grace said, even when the dogs came in at the hospital, you would be too busy to visit because you would be on to the next room.”
Keith: So, what is the schedule and hours like for the Home Health Care? Grace said. “The shifts are based on what the needs are for the client. Let’s say the client has help from family members but need help during certain hours when they are at work. So, then the schedule would be determined by that”. Like with my father-in-law who needs twenty-four-hour care Grace said it’s two 12-hour shifts. 7AM to 7PM and the next shift is from 7PM until 7AM.”
Keith: Is there a big difference then with a nighttime nursing experience at home over a hospital? When I was in a hospital, they woke me up at times. Grace said “the experience in home health care is different because it’s less structured and again based on the client’s needs. Plus, the client is at home and that is a different experience for the client. A care plan is developed based on need for care. “Grace did go on to say there are still protocols and things they are required to do based on their training.
Keith: What is it like for your team when they go to someone’s home to work? To drive up to a home and knock on the door? She said, “Of course at first there is that anxiety of who am I going to meet and what are their expectations. Yet, once you get that family at ease and they realize that you are there for them to fix a problem, then you end up forming a relationship that works.”
Keith: So, when a client passes away or they no longer need home care, do you feel like you can maintain some of those relationships? Staying in touch over the time is important to Grace. This remains to be a professional relationship and sometimes the clients and their family reach out as well to see how we are doing.” We keep in contact depending on how deep that relationship is.”
I asked Grace about her team for both Priority Home Health LLC and AJAN. My question was regarding the nurses and if they worked both in the Adult Family Home as well as in the clients Home. She shared that the nurses would work mostly on the Home Health end and her caregivers would work in the adult family Home, because of the rules that govern the different entities.
We talked about other nurses out there who perhaps might like working more as well in this home environment rather than in a clinic or hospital setting. There are needs for nurses in hospitals and clinics as well as people who are in need of home health care because of the circumstances or the health stage they are in.