Lisa, RN, can be found working with many of our most complex, ventilator-dependent patients at home. When Lisa isn’t caring for our patients in the field, she’s transitioning new patients home from the hospital and providing education and training for our new field nurses.
We recently sat down with Lisa to find out what makes her tick, and why our patients and nurses can’t seem to get enough!
Why did you become a nurse?
I wanted to do something that would help people, but I also wanted a career that would provide me the flexibility I needed for my family. I really enjoy working in changing environments, so I liked the idea of becoming a nurse. There are so many different career options—home care, ICU, school nursing, trauma, rehab. The list goes on and on.
So, why did you choose to work in Home Nursing?
Following my mom’s knee replacement surgery, she had visiting nurses who provided post-surgical care. I was always fascinated by these nurses. They were meeting different people every day, and were able to watch their progress unfold.
How did you end up at Independence Plus?
After deciding to work in the home, I interviewed at a few different home nursing agencies. Many of the agencies were willing to hire me on the spot and send me anywhere. I knew I wanted to work for a company with high standards, and Independence Plus was it!
I was most impressed with Independence Plus’ pre-employment process—the ventilator class, skills testing, and orientation process. There were even nurses who didn’t pass the rigorous employment process.
You’ve had a few different positions at Independence Plus, what has been your favorite so far?
Working with the Transition Team has been the most rewarding. You are working alongside families who are longing to take their loved ones home. My favorite part of the transition process is watching the patient’s family and friends visit the patient at home for the first time—everyone is so happy and ecstatic.
I often think: If Independence Plus wasn’t around, many of our patients would end up in a nursing home—or worse. Transitioning a patient home is a lot of work, but it’s all worth it when you see it all come together. It’s pretty incredible.
What is something about your job that would surprise us?
It can be very physical—and emotional. I’m always surprised how exhausted I am at the end of a shift with one of my patients. Not only am I providing care, but I’m also providing emotional support to my patients and their families.
Who inspires you at work?
My patients inspire me to be a better nurse—and a better human being. Someone who inspired me the most is a young man who was ventilator-dependent. Despite his physical disabilities, he still lived life to the fullest. And he was a joy to be around. I often think, “If I was in that position, would I be that happy?” He was full of love, had a great sense of humor and was kind. He wasn’t bitter at all. I learned a lot about how to be a great nurse from my relationship with this patient.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
For my 15th wedding anniversary, my husband and I traveled through Europe—London, Budapest, Venice, Florence, Rome, and Paris. I loved London—it’s so vivid and alive. The people are great, and the fashion and food is incredible. We also honeymooned in Spain.
Any hidden talents?
My previous career was working as a bartender. I’ve worked in restaurants and night clubs, like the House of Blues. I met a lot of great people and my favorite drink to make (and drink) is a Kettle One vodka martini.
What do you do to unwind?
At the end of a grueling 12 hour shift, I need to let my mind rest. What works the best for me is being outside and living in the moment with my three dogs!
What are you planning to do next?
I’m currently working on my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at West Governor’s State University.
What words do you live by?
I recently purchased a journal with the words “Find Beauty in Everything” inscribed on the cover. This is how I try to look at everything in life.
Is there a nurse you want to recognize? If so, tell us by leaving a comment below!