You may have seen the advertisements in WNYJOBS.com for Home Healthcare professionals and wondered if this career is right for you. Whether you are currently in the healthcare field or someone who is thinking about joining, it takes a special person to do this type of work. The job, however, can be tremendously rewarding on a personal level while providing a good income and stability to you and your family.
Like most decisions in life, there are several things you should evaluate prior to making a decision about Home Healthcare. Let’s examine some of those now, in our attempt to assist you in making your decision.
• Experience All Sides of Relationships – When you are a Home Healthcare professional, you really can run the gamut of relationship building. Since you often will have steady, repeat customers for months (years?) at a time, you can really get to know people. The memories created can be positive recollections for the rest of your life. One of the downsides of this (especially if you work with the elderly or terminally ill) is that you will have to say goodbye to them as they pass on (or in a better scenario, they are well again). This is an aspect of the relationships that you should fully explore with yourself, prior to entering this field. Another potential negative of patient continuity is you may have a person who you just don’t care for. Unlike other healthcare jobs where you may not see the person again or not for a while, in this situation you will have steady interaction. Ask yourself whether you can put your “game face” on and still provide superior care in this situation.
• Work from People’s Home – It seems pretty obvious, since the job is in Home Healthcare, but you do have to feel comfortable working in that environment. For some people, traveling from place to place and entering homes (especially for the 1st time meeting) is unappealing. You do need to be prepared to be respectful of people’s homes and any rules or customs they have for visitors. If you prefer to have a stable work site in a more traditional environment, then Home Healthcare is probably not for you. Safety is a top priority for home healthcare professionals, but if you do have concerns regarding travelling/parking/walking in specific neighborhoods, that may be something for you to consider when doing a job search in this profession.
• Are You Reliable Enough – This is a situation where you really have to be honest with yourself, as everyone on first glance believes they are reliable. In this situation, you have people’s health and (perhaps) even their lives at stake. It can be very challenging for employers in this area to be able to dispatch backup for you if you can’t make an appointment. Are you professionally mature enough to manage your schedule in a way that you can provide the care needed?
• Do You Want the Responsibility – Home Healthcare professionals can sometimes be both the first and last line of care for their patients. You have to enter each home prepared to provide care in a number of different areas. You may be faced with the unexpected upon arrival and you will be expected to act accordingly. The quick decision making required in this role can be great, depending upon the situation. Are you prepared to carry this on your shoulders? This will not be like a more traditional environment, where there may be several people you can rely on. As a potential positive, you will most likely use all of the skills you learned and are trained for as you handle these situations.
• Can You Work Independently – When you are in Home Healthcare, you do not have an immediate supervisor with you during the course of your workday. The work that you perform and the needs of your patients have to be all the motivation you require to keep going each day. As a potential positive, you can also have some flexibility in your workday depending on what assignments you receive or accept, which may be perfect for those with some schedule restrictions.
Selecting Home Healthcare as your profession can be tremendously rewarding in a variety of ways for people. The people who choose this career serve a vital role in the health of their patients. Like most professions, the job has both positive and negative aspects. Review the list above, and decide for yourself if this very important career is right for you. If you are still unsure, try speaking with those already in the profession to obtain their expert perspective. You may just conclude that it is what you want to do!
As always, the best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joe Stein WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: Joe Stein