How to Conquer Complacency in Home Healthcare


lbd-complacencyOne piece of advice that is often given to new nurses during orientation and training at Independence Plus is: Whatever you do, do not become a complacent nurse!

In home healthcare, nurses work in a comfortable, sometimes even relaxed, environment. This is one of the primary reasons why home nursing is so successful. Our medically complex, ventilator-dependent patients receive care in an environment where they want to be, and with the support of their family and friends. This is also one of the main culprits for complacency. Nurses are comfortable with the patient and family, and familiar with the care and clinical interventions.

As nurses, it is our role to advocate, anticipate outcomes, and provide quality, optimal care for our patients. They deserve it, and more importantly, it keeps our patients out of the hospital.

So, for any nurse who feels like they may be complacent or bored, these tips are for you!

  1. The Golden Rule. When you provide care, think to yourself: “If the tables were turned, how would I want to be cared for?”
  1. Be a leader and role model. Do not take on other nurses’ bad habits. Set the standard for quality care and be an example for other nurses. When you raise the bar and set high expectations for delivering patient care, your patients benefit (and they recognize it, even if they do not mention it!).
  1. Grow professionally. Healthcare is constantly evolving. Become involved with a professional organization to keep you abreast on what’s going on in your field (nursing, respiratory, etc.).
  1. Remember the reason. Why did you become a nurse? Remember the passion that led you into the field and use it to motivate you to provide the best care, every time. Your patient will appreciate it.
  1. Improve communication. Some patients get used to their routine and may even say: “Don’t worry about doing that today.” Don’t be afraid to talk to your patient. This is the perfect time to educate! Respectfully, let your patients know the benefits of the care being provided to them.
  1. Maximize your potential. Challenge yourself. Look for opportunities to gain new patient experiences. The nursing profession strives for innovation, outcome-based quality care, evidence-based practices, and patient advocacy. Constantly think to yourself: What else can I accomplish? What can I do to make a lasting impact in healthcare?
  1. Remember your role. Even though you work in a healthcare setting where long-term relationships are paramount, it’s important to remember that you’re still a professional with the responsibility of reducing re-hospitalizations, anticipating outcomes, and providing quality, optimal care.
  1. Ask for help. If you need support or have a question about the care you’re providing to your patient, ask for help! Your direct supervisor (and the entire administrative office) is available to support you and provide any additional training you need.

This guest blog post was written by Marquina Watts, MSN, RN, who is currently a Home Nursing Resident at Independence Plus.

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