One thing that makes Independence Plus, Inc. (IPI) unique is our unwavering commitment to education. Nurses hired at IPI are immersed in a hands-on training and education program designed to prepare them to provide the best possible care for patients with complex medical and respiratory needs living at home.
At the forefront of our training process is our Clinical Educator, Christa, RN. Christa worked as an adult homecare nurse in the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit for several years and has more than a decade of experience as a branch director of clinical management in pediatric homecare. She also has held field roles that included heavy clinical education.
In her current role she combines her clinical expertise and sensitivity to what it takes to be successful working in someone’s home, to help nurses new to Independence Plus. She also assists with support and development for nurses already working in the field.
“The skills needed to work with our patients in the home are a blend of high-tech clinical skills and also the ability to function autonomously. Nurses who come to IPI may or may not have had homecare experience, so it’s important that we make sure they are trained to a place where they can be successful in a very unique part of nursing,” Christa said.
According to Christa, while many talented nurses come through the doors here, they are not always prepared for the rigorous pre-employment training process.
“The education component is so important to us because the care we give is very different from being in a hospital or another facility. There are places that the patient is much less acute and you aren’t as busy, but that’s not the case here,” she said. “We have to make sure our nurses are ready, so our training is lean and mean and you need to come prepared to demonstrate your skills.”
Although she has only been at IPI for a few months, Christa said she has found her role to be a great experience and is already creating a list of ways to keep improving the education process.
“I would like to continue to increase the efficacy of the pre-employment process and to help ensure that as best practices change, we have a program that is easy to adjust and still stays relevant,” she said. “I would also really like our nurses to make education a priority as they develop their careers and to be able to rely on our education department as a partner on an ongoing basis beyond the initial employment phase.”
One of the good things about working at IPI, Christa added, is the reallocation of resources back into the team for the patients’ benefit. “We know that if we weren’t there to care for our patients they would not be able to be home, so there is a lot of passion and dedication here and it’s nice to be a part of that.”