Rowan, RN, has always known she wanted to become a nurse. After graduating from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she saw another learning opportunity in IPI’s year-long Home Nursing Residency Program. Now, just two months shy of completing the program, Rowan says she has learned a great deal from caring for medically complex, ventilator-dependent patients at home, and looks forward to a long career in nursing. We recently sat down with Rowan to find out about her time in the program, what she plans to do next, and what she has learned from her patients.
Q: Why did you become a nurse?
A: I have always felt that a career in nursing would best fit my personality. I am the oldest of five girls and naturally developed the qualities of a caretaker. My desire to help people and care for them in times of need emulates the altruistic behaviors of a nurse. I also enjoy achieving new goals and believe a career in nursing provides diversity and many learning opportunities.
Q: Why did you choose to work in Home Nursing?
It’s knowledge-based with transition into the field. When I found out I would have the support and resources that I need, that’s what made me want to do it. It is called ‘private duty nursing’ and I hadn’t heard of it in school but once I saw what it was really about I knew it would be great and it has been.
When you think of home care nursing you think of dressing changes or giving insulin, that type of thing. But it’s not like that at all. Every day is a new day and this job requires a lot of critical thinking. You have to be on top of it and you are expected to assess the situation and know what to do at all times. You want to know everything about your patients to provide them with the best possible care, whereas in the hospital you’re not always with the patient, so it’s much different.
Q: What has been your proudest moment so far as a nurse?
A: It was the beginning of my Residency Program when I received a call from my Nursing Manager. She said my preceptor called her and was so impressed by me! She believed that I was the “full package” and was going to make a great nurse! That moment provided me with the confidence I needed in myself to excel as a nurse.
Q: What is something about your job that would surprise us?
A: Every patient has different family dynamics and different medical issues so you get a little bit of everything. You learn so much more in this environment. There’s a lot more critical thinking involved than is expected. We are continuously assessing our patients and intervening based on our observations. From administering cough assists to prn medications, our minds are continuously assessing and implementing action plans to provide best patient care.
Q: What does working with your patients teach you?
A: Marcello has taught me to enjoy simple things. He loves to go to the park and swing – he could stay there for hours. He also likes to go to the library for storytime. There is one nearby for kids with special needs, which is great. He really loves getting out of the house and is so happy playing with things – even a piece of tape – he will stare at it and figure it out and have fun doing it! He reminds me to be happy with the little things in life.
Q: Who inspires you ?
A: My parents. They have worked very hard for my sisters and I to be able to pursue a higher education. I try my best everyday to make them and God proud of me.
Q: What are you planning to do next?
I have a nice variety of patients so I get to learn a lot. I love all of my patients, even when I clock out I never stop thinking of them and wondering how they are doing. After graduation I want to find at least one day a week to continue to work with each of them.
Q: What words do you live by?
A: Every day is an opportunity to do something great. Every morning I renew my intention to be the best of nurses; to provide someone with happiness, ease, and comfort.
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