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How difficult is it to get a home health job as an entry-level PT?

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Daniel M. Pitta

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I've read on these boards that it is often very competitive to get a job in home health, and that entry-level PT's usually have to work in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting for a year or two before being able to make the transition to home health or traveling PT. Is this usually true? Are there any home health agencies that provide contract work for PTs looking for extra income? I'm very curious because it is a setting that interests me.
 

jblil

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I am a new-grad who went straight into HH. Most places do require 1 or 2 years of prior experience. I think I got my position because 1) I knew the hiring manager from a prior clinical, so he had a good feel for what I could do, 2) I did a HH clinical prior to graduation, and 3) I am a non-trad with several careers behind me, so I am sure I come across with a lot more maturity than a typical new-grad. Gentiva claims that they hire new-grads for HH positions. However, myself and a classmate applied and our apps were rejected within 24 hrs of submission, without even a phone call or interview. I am sure it depends on how many PTs they need at that time.

If you plan to go into HH as a new grad, do request a HH clinical while you're still in school. I think that's the most important thing you can do to make interviewers take you seriously.
 

starrsgirl

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I'm still in my last year of school....but I've talked to 2 companies who said they were more than willing to hire me right into home health as they can't fill the position. I am also a non trad and 1 place was my last clinical, so the rehab director observed me on home health visits (I did a mixed clinical with mostly inpatient but 1 day of home health a week).
 

jblil

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starrsgirl - did the companies say why they can't fill those positions? It may be worth digging a bit before you commit.
 

starrsgirl

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starrsgirl - did the companies say why they can't fill those positions? It may be worth digging a bit before you commit.
Yes good point. I'm not interested in either as they aren't at all in places I will be living. 1 place is rural, they are desperate for anyone. The other is in a city with not great reimbursement for the length of days (they got per visit but it took a long time to get btw places but not a lot of miles). I was surprised to hear the OP say it's hard to get into home health even as a new grad as it seems there are loads of those openings whenever I look.
 

jblil

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I think there are a lot of "fly-by-night" HH agencies around, and those places are always recruiting because of the high turnover, once PTs find out how they really operate: poor reimbursements, bad locations, shady practices, etc. My clinical was with the HH dept of a large hospital system, and I currently work in HH for another large hospital system. Those two are very good IMO.
 
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wrennywren

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I got 2 offers for a HH peds job right out of school very easily. I love it. Pay is great, schedule is awesome.
 
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