Why You Should Consider a Career in Home Health

By: Michaelnowling
It should be no secret to anyone that the population of the United States is aging. As the "greatest generation" fades into honored memory and the "baby boomers" begin to approach retirement, the health care industries in our country are facing a major increase in demand. This in turn puts a strain on existing hospital and medical clinic resources, often forcing them to become less personal and more systematic in their treatment of patients. People seeking careers in health care can be put off by this reality and seek alternatives which will allow them to practice their skills in a more personal environment-the home.

Many of our most talented medical providers are opting to work in a home health agency. This growing trend is expected to increase as the population ages and demand for care increases. A home health agency has some definite benefits for a health care professional wanting a more personal practice environment.

"Working in a home health agency offers some very significant advantages over a hospital or clinic setting," explained Maria Bushebi, Manager of Private Duty for Family Home Care and Hospice, located in Spokane, WA. "Seeing a patient in a home setting allows a nurse or home health aide the time to develop a relationship with the patient, observe the progress of care and make recommendations that may escape the attention of a hospital or clinic based professional. Plus, it's much easier in our system to follow the progress of care and that's a major part of our job satisfaction."

The largest privately owned home health agency in the Inland Northwest, Family Home Care and Hospice (FHCH) has more than 250 employees. The growing demand for home care services has company president, Michael Nowling sensitive to the difficulties of running a health care business.

"Staffing any health care delivery organization is a constant effort these days," noted Nowling. "But we do find that we are successfully attracting high caliber health care professionals because of the rewards of working in a system which, by virtue of its delivery model, emphasizes personal care and interaction."

In addition to greater job satisfaction and fulfillment in their patient relationships, home health professionals have much more control over their work hours and schedules than do hospital based workers. This makes the home health agency a great place for family oriented employees. They have a more typical work schedule than other health professionals and can often be available to meet family or social obligations.

Family Home Care is a perfect place for someone with a family," explained Bushebi. "Not only do we have regular hours, but we can quite easily schedule time to attend things like parent-teacher conferences or dental appointments. Flexibility is a tremendous benefit of a career in this industry."

Home health agencies are attracting a large number of mature workers, Bushebi explained. Often these are workers who have raised their families and would like to re-enter the workforce. They like the home health environment because of the personal aspect of the work and the sense of satisfaction it gives them.

"The home health environment works well for these employees because they are mature and responsible and tend to have a highly developed sense of compassion and concern," said Bushebi. "They fit well into a home environment and gain a real sense of accomplishment and appreciation as they develop a relationship with patients and see them progress."

Home health agencies are also attracting more health professionals from hospitals and clinics because advances in technologies have allowed many of the cutting-edge therapies and techniques to be practiced in the home.

"Health professionals don't have to worry any longer that they're leaving behind the technical knowledge they accumulated working with high-tech medical equipment or state of the art procedures," Bushebi added. "Much of this experience and technology can now be used in a home environment, so they can have the best of both worlds. They can keep up on the latest developments in their field and have fulfilling patient interactions."

Nursing assistant programs and other training classes are commonly offered at community colleges in most areas of the country. These programs are necessary for home health workers to receive the proper licensing so they can work for a home health agency. According to Bushebi, many of the home care agencies, such as Family Home Care, will reimburse employees for this training.

Whether you're just beginning your health care career or are looking to re-enter the workforce, a career in home health will give you the ideal combination of traditional patient care values and cutting-edge technological advances. "Based on my experience at Family Home Care and Hospice," Bushebi concludes, "I would say that a home health career offers everything that a health care worker would want in a rewarding career."
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