14 Pros and Cons of Working in Home Health Care

Home Health Care

The home health care industry provides patients a way to save money while staying out of the hospital and still getting lifesaving medical treatment.

As someone interested in working in home health care, the market is expected to grow by nearly 8 percent from 2022 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.

There is an increased job demand as a result. 

The industry is also worth more than $320.6 billion yet serves as a more affordable way to treat a large number of patients across the states.

See more about the reasons home health care workers have a great job, and what is so tough about this career. 

Pros of Being a Home Health Care Worker

1. Steady Workload and Hours

There is a growing aging population of baby boomers, the largest generation of any to be in the US, which is already putting a strain on nursing homes and hospital workers.

Home health care workers help fill those gaps in medical care that these institutes cannot provide due to the cost of the unique level of care of the patient.

Plenty of seniors simply need steady health care and are home-bound for some reason.

And they trust and depend on home health care workers to fulfill that need.

This results in a steady workload and consistent hours for home health and personal care aides.

2. Constantly Being Challenged

For workers who enjoy a daily challenge, the work of a home health care worker is constantly changing.

Along with the medical struggles of patients, these workers must manage the care without the resources of a facility or team.

This creates a new dynamic that is more personal for patients and can make it easier for home health care workers to do their job.

At the same time, they are constantly being challenged by new patients and levels of care, as well as unexpected medical emergencies.

If you are someone who is readily up for a challenge on the job, this is the right field of the medical industry to work in.

3. A Career in the Medical Industry

Individuals who seek a career in the medical industry do so when working in-home healthcare.

This is a valuable part of the medical industry, and there are regularly new technologies and techniques being reported in medical texts.

Someone who wants to be a part of the medical industry can say they are when working in-home healthcare.

You also have a bevy of training resources available to you through the financial support of the medical industry at large.

This will keep your mind sharp and your skill level high as you work in your new career as a home health care worker.

4. Good Paying Entry Level Job

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the home health and personal care industry pay an annual median wage of $28,130 across all US states.

This is at an hourly rate of $13.52 and is in the middle of the road for similar medical industry jobs.

The top-paying states for home health care workers are Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Alaska, and North Dakota.

In Washington, for example, this career field pays $17.36 an hour or $36,120 annually.

This is a good starting salary for most young adults who are first entering the workforce. 

5. Plenty of Options to Diversify

As a home health care worker, there is a lot of room for growth both in the field and within the medical industry.

Associated jobs for medical workers in home health care include nursing home care; continuing care in retirement communities; and facility care, such as with substance abuse treatment residents.

If you become bored or grow weary from working in home health, it is easy to use your medical skills to work in a similar field.

The medical training and patient skills you pick up from home health care can easily transfer to other areas of medical training, such as being a registered nurse (RN) or veterinarian. 

6. Interpersonal Interaction

Meeting with new patients and having personal interactions is a big reason why some people thrive as home health care workers.

This is the type of job where you must interact with other people on a very personal level.

Treating a person’s medical care is quite personal and requires a human touch.

For extroverts and people who love helping others, this part of the medical industry is the right place to be.

7. Getting to Help Those in Need

This brings up the final pro of working in home health care–getting to help those who are in need of medical attention.

If you like to be in charge and assist others in relieving their suffering, the job of a healthcare worker or personal care aide is the right choice. 

Cons of Being in Home Health Care 

1. Long Shifts are Typical

Expect to work long hours when in-home health care, especially when it comes to the emotional toil this career can bring.

If you are someone who likes to leave work at the office, forget about it.

In this industry, you are generally on call 24 hours a day with individuals who may be on their deathbeds. 

2. Pay is Not Great

When discussing pay being good, it is not great.

Therefore, while the pay is decent and considered a pro, it is also a con to why someone might not want to work in-home health care.

This is the type of work that is highly demanding of an individual’s time and personal energy.

While the top pay for home health workers and personal aides is $36,000 a year, other medical staff, including nurses and doctors, are getting paid six to 12 times that annually. 

3. Always New Patients and Levels of Care

The patients who you are seeing in home health will always either be at a new level of care in their treatment progress, or they will simply be replaced by new patients.

You are constantly seeing new patients and new medical conditions.

This can be exciting at first unless you are someone who craves familiarity and consistency.

If so, this will become a taxing part of the job.

4. Must Work With Bodily Fluids

There is a condition in-home health care and personal care aide work where you are involved with the bodily fluids of patients.

You may be responsible for drawing blood or testing urine, or you might be someone cleaning infected wounds and cleaning bedpans.

Either way, anticipate coming into contact with bodily fluids as part of the job in-home health care.

5. Mostly Working With Geriatric Patients

Grand View Research reports a “rising incidence of target diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as orthopedic diseases are factors expected to fuel market growth” in the home health care industry.

These are all age-related conditions that are primarily associated with elderly patients.

As a result, you can anticipate working with more senior citizens and baby boomers, who are retired individuals, than younger patients.

If you are interested in helping infants and newborns, this is not the right line of work in other words.

6. Frequently Entering New Environments for Patients

As someone working in-home health care, you may likely be a home nurse, such as a wound care nurse or hospice worker.

This means you will be required to go into these patients’ houses and bedrooms to treat their health concerns.

If you are squeamish about visiting people at home, then you might want to consider another area of the medical industry.

Going into random people’s houses is one of the aspects of the work that most people do not think about when they first start training.

However, they do now, especially with COVID-19.

7. Personal Toil Can be Gruesome

Finally, the biggest problem home health care workers have with the job is that, while it is a personal position involving one-on-one interaction with workers, this is also a downfall.

You can easily become drained emotionally and the personal toil of dealing with the patients’ demands is difficult.

This is compounded whenever a patient dies, which is often, unfortunately, the end result of care for home health workers.

Again, this is primarily a geriatric demographic of patients you are working with in-home health care in the US.

Pros and Cons of Working in Home Health Care – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Home Health Care WorkerCons of Being in Home Health Care 
1. Steady Workload and Hours1. Long Shifts are Typical
2. Constantly Being Challenged2. Pay is Not Great
3. A Career in the Medical Industry3. Always New Patients and Levels of Care
4. Good Paying Entry Level Job4. Must Work With Bodily Fluids
5. Plenty of Options to Diversify5. Mostly Working With Geriatric Patients
6. Interpersonal Interaction6. Frequently Entering New Environments for Patients
7. Getting to Help Those in Need7. Personal Toil Can be Gruesome

Should You Become a Home Health Care Worker?

Before making any decisions about training or education in order to get started in the home health care career field, you should ask yourself some serious questions.

Take a look at the pros and cons and determine if you truly would enjoy working a 24-hour shift three to four days a week, and dealing with the elderly on a regular basis.

For someone who enjoys taking a long weekend and taking care of what they consider their “grandparents,” this is the perfect position to work in.

However, for those who want less personal interaction and more control in their office or workplace, home health care work is not the right choice.

Jamie Willis