Gas Prices are Having a Serious Impact on Jobs that Require Driving

Jennifer White is one of many home health care nurses who drive from house to house to see sick and elderly patients. She gets mileage reimbursement from her employer, but with gas prices unusually high, home health is a career that is getting too expensive for some nurses.

"I do know some people that have quit working in home health care because of that problem, but if you like your job, you've gotta do it to be able to see the patients," White said. "[Reimbursement] helps some, but unfortunately, that's kind of just breaking even right now because with gas prices so high, it doesn't really cover the wear and tear on your vehicle."

But traveling nurses know driving is a necessary part of their job. They'll have to deal with high gas prices no matter who they work for.

Texas Home Health administrator, Jonnie Warren, RN, said, "It's costing them more to go and see their patients out in the field, but it hasn't changed our services because that's what our service is-to go out and take care of people."

That's why some home health care agencies are now providing incentives - like gas cards - to save their employees a little money. Gas prices have gotten so outrageous some delivery and home health care services have increased the mileage reimbursement for their employees.

"They're looking at the reimbursement rate and trying to decide if they're going to go up on it," Warren said. "I think it's being talked about and considered."

Some Texas Home Health nurses drive as far as Joaquin, Trinity, Rusk and Jacksonville to care for patients. It's not unusual for them to put a thousand miles on their vehicle a month. The agency offers a competitive mileage rate similar to other facilities across the state.