Each fall Independence Plus, Inc. (IPI) nurses and clinical educators come together over the course of six days to take part in our Annual Skills Competency Training. Annuals is an essential part of Independence Plus’ nursing education and training program, but it’s also a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues we don’t get to see as often as we would like! We take this time to remember why we all work so hard to provide the quality care and services our medically complex patients need and deserve, and this year we asked some of our nurses what they have learned from caring for patients in the home.
Below are a few of their responses:
Tori B., RN, one year with IPI:
As a medical professional in the home setting, your knowledge, creativity, flexibility, and skills are tested every day. You are able to partner with parents and family members who have become experts at their loved one’s care and learn exactly what works for that patient. You learn to advocate for what is important to your patient and provide care in a way that prioritizes his quality of life. At times, it has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, but is always incredibly rewarding. As someone who is let into our patient’s homes and lives, there is a great deal that we observe and learn that extends past the medical scope of our profession. I have witnessed amazing strength, perseverance, growth, and determination in our patients and families. I feel so privileged to get to work with such amazing people and have learned more than I thought possible about disability and special needs advocacy and awareness. I am proud to add my voice to the caregivers and advocates of our medically complex patient population. I am so grateful for how much I have learned and grown in this past year and cannot wait to continue this journey with my patients.
Juanita C., RN, almost three years with IPI:
In the hospital you are keying in on the patient’s condition, but it’s not on a long-term basis. In the home it’s quite a bit about family dynamics and making that work in order to care properly for the patient. You can get a better grip on taking care of the person if you take into account the dynamics of the home. It makes it harder, but often times it’s more rewarding. It’s another perspective of nursing. I’ve retired, so working in home nursing also allows me to choose my hours and keep my skills going!
Bria W., LPN, one year with IPI:
While caring for my patients the last year, it was reinforced to me how every patient is different. Some of my patients share the same equipment, diagnosis, and even medications but each is using those things differently. Each patient has specific preferences and once I learned them, I was able to care for them to the best of my ability. It can be traumatic for one’s life to change so suddenly and for them to be dependent on others and certain equipment to live, so the least I can do is make them comfortable and promote optimal health that is patient specific.
Nadya G., RN, one year with IPI:
I had the opportunity to practice a lot of skills like changing pediatric and adult trach tubes, changing Foley catheters and Foley catheter irrigation, working with Trilogy and LTV vents, changing dry and wet circuits and switching patients from one to the other, working with G tubes, inline and open suctioning, wound care, repositioning, transferring patients with Hoyer Lift, performing neb treatments, IPV treatments, working with O2 tanks and oxygen administration, administering medications. I am probably missing some of the skills I have learned but they are really a lot and very patient specific.
Marquina W., MSN, RN, CNL, one year with IPI:
I have learned that life-threatening emergencies can occur in the home. Although the home environment is more relaxed and laid back than a hospital setting, it is important to remember that I am a professional and my patients trust me with their lives. I need to anticipate risks and be prepared for anything at ALL times!!! Never become complacent with a patient’s status…EVER!!!
Be sure to check out our Facebook page (and ‘like’ it, if you haven’t yet done so!) beginning next week to see more more comments from our nurses on what their patients teach them and what it’s like to work in Skilled Hourly Home Nursing.