A Pediatric Nurse at Heart

Our People


Emily McDonald, RN, pediatric nurse at Independence Plus, Inc.

Emily McDonald, RN, is quiet, kind and wise beyond her years. A nurse for the last 10 years, Emily comes from a family with a strong background in education (both of her parents earned their PhDs).

The oldest of three girls, Emily was encouraged to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

Today, Emily and her sisters are all working in healthcare. Her youngest sister is even studying to become a nurse, just like Emily.

An Engaging Nurse

Emily’s quiet energy quickly evaporates when she’s around one of her patients, an adorable 2 year-old-boy who is ventilator-dependent.

Emily is asking questions, explaining the care she is providing, reading, and playing games.

“If one of my patients doesn’t want to do something, I talk about why it’s important.” She continues, “They still fight it, but we always find a way to get through it.”

During our visit, she improvises a guessing game to keep her patient busy while suctioning.

“Are there bubbles in your mouth?

Are there bubbles in your eyes?

Are there bubbles in your toes?”

Her patient is delighted – and although he can’t speak, you can see the laughter in his eyes.

A Natural with Children

“I’ve learned to play with my patients, and relate to them,” says Emily.

Emily is a natural with our younger pediatric patients. At the beginning, Independence Plus, Inc. matched her up with an 11-month old infant. Nervous at first, her anxiety disappeared almost as quickly as it came.

“Everyone wanted me to succeed – Independence Plus, their nurses, and the family,” Emily remembers.

And succeed she did! Emily continues to work with that same patient today and has developed a special bond with the patient and family.

Choosing Skilled Home Nursing

Before joining Independence Plus, Emily worked at a hospital and nursing home where there was always someone to ask for help or answer a question.

Now, Emily cannot imagine not working in the home.

The 24/7 on-call support has been invaluable to Emily, and surprisingly, it has made up for not working alongside other nurses and healthcare professionals.

“Knowing you are just a phone call away from the Clinical Managers is immensely helpful,” she explains.

“In the home, I get to focus all of my attention on one patient.” She continues, “Our patients are able to be at home with people who love them.”

Never Lose Hope

Emily’s advice for new nurses is to slow down, pay attention, listen, and then ask questions.

Most important, she says, “Don’t lose hope!”

Like Emily, her parting words are compassionate and powerful: “People underestimate how important this job can be. I get back so much more than I give.”


Are you a pediatric nurse? Click here to read 5 Tips for Therapeutic Playtime.

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We’re expanding our services and offerings. We want you to be a part of the team that is delivering personalized, individual, people-focused skilled home healthcare to those in need. Come join us.

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