Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that the population of the United States is aging. Soon the “greatest generation” will be a reverent memory and the “baby boomers” will be in full retirement mode. This will place a significant increase in demand on our health care system. The resources of our hospitals and medical clinics will be even more stretched, forcing them to become less personalized and more institutional in dealing with you, the patient. This can be a negative factor for people wishing to have a health care career. They often seek alternate health care models which allow a more personal delivery–in the home.
The number of talented health care professionals choosing to work in a home health agency is increasing as fast as the aging population and the demand for health care services. A home health agency offers significant benefits to anyone seeking a rewarding career in health care.
“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.”
With more than 250 employees, Family Home Care and Hospice is the largest privately owned home health agency in the Inland Northwest. Michael Nowling, company president, is very much aware of the challenges of running a health care business today.
“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.”
Not only do home health workers experience greater job satisfaction, but they also have greater flexibility in their work schedules than do clinic or hospital based professionals. As a result, a home health agency is an ideal situation for workers with families. The scheduling options allow them to be available for family or other obligations.
“The environment at agencies like Family Home Care is perfect for employees with families,” noted Bushebi. “We have regular work hours and can even arrange our schedules so that things like parent-teacher conferences or dental appointments for the kids can be accomplished without much difficulty. The ability to be flexible is a great benefit.”
Bushebi observes that many home health agencies are increasingly being staffed by more mature workers. These are often people who have raised their families and are looking for a job that will give them a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
“These workers gravitate to the home health system,” continued Bushebi. “The home environment is familiar to them and they can gain a significant sense of accomplishment and gratitude as they work with patients and see them improve.”
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 care professionals needn’t be concerned that they’re abandoning the technical experience and knowledge they’ve gained in years of working with the newest equipment or techniques,” Bushebi noted. “More and more of these state of the art technologies are available to be used in the home. Home health professionals can keep up on their skills and have rewarding patient interactions at the same time.”
There are training programs available for workers which will allow them to receive the necessary certifications and licenses to work for a home health agency. Many of the Nursing Assistant programs are offered at community colleges throughout the nation and are very affordable. Plus, according to Bushebi, many home care agencies like Family Home Care will reimburse workers for these training programs.
For people both young and old who are interested in a health care career which offers a unique combination of old fashioned patient care and relationship building along with the latest in medical advances, the best choice these days seems to be the home health agency. And, as Bushebi concludes, if her experience at Family Home Care and Hospice is any indication, home health workers will find all that and more in the home health industry.