Kristina S., BSN, RN, can be found working with many of our new ventilator-dependent patients as she transitions them from the hospital to their home.
As Clinical Transition Manager for Independence Plus, Kristina leads our transition team who specialize in coordination of care between the discharge facility and the patient’s home, as well as training nurses on every new case, stabilizing our patients at home, and establishing a reliable routine with individualized house rules.
We sat down with Kristina to find out more about who she is and how she contributes to keeping our patients healthy at home.
Why did you become a nurse?
I was in a stage of my life when I needed to make a decision about my future. I was in a very bad accident that caused me to be in the Intensive Care Unit for two weeks. As a patient, I experienced great nursing care first-hand. It was such a powerful experience and eventually it led me to consider nursing as a career. I thought, if I can make other people feel how these nurses made me feel, my work will have true meaning.
Why did you choose to work in Home Nursing?
I truly love 1:1 patient care. I do it, not because it’s less work, but because of the higher quality of care I can provide to each of my patients.
What is your favorite thing about working in our Transition team?
The constant change! In a short time, I am able to get to know a patient and their family—and truly make a difference in their lives.
What is something about your job that would surprise us?
The most interesting part of my job is learning about each family’s culture and dynamics. The clinical skills for each patient are usually straightforward. The challenging part—and the part I enjoy—is adapting our services to make Home Nursing work for each family.
Who inspires you at work?
People who are kind, creative, and continue to go the extra mile to keep our patients at home.
Who inspires you outside of work?
My grandmother. She’s 95 and is the core of our family. She’s the strongest person I know; plus she’s logical, level-headed, and loves her family deeply. I always go to her for advice. When she was 90, she flew to Chicago [from Lithuania] for six months and had the time of her life. It was her life-long dream.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the person I am and the decisions I’ve made to get me where I am today. It took a lot of hard, hard, hard work!
What’s your favorite book?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I love Russian classics.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak Lithuanian, my native language. I am also fluent in Russian and English. When I was in fifth grade, I transferred into a private linguistics school where I learned to speak English. To be accepted, I spent the entire summer learning five years of English to catch up with all of the other students. I still remember studying English with my mom at the beach during my summer vacation.
I also understand Polish, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn how to speak Spanish this year.
What is your favorite place to travel?
Rome. I love the architecture and how you don’t need a car to experience the amazing beauty of the city.
Any hidden talents?
I was raised by a family of artists, which is why I never considered a job in healthcare prior to my accident, so I am very crafty. I also went to art school in Lithuania. Some of my hobbies include making one-of-a-kind fabric toys, crocheting, and drawing. I also think I am a pretty good cook!
What are you planning to do next?
I’d love to go back to school for my Master’s degree. Maybe teaching someday? I really love academics. Educating and training all of our nurses in the field is something I really enjoy.
What words do you live by?
I try to live life without fear. Fear can be very distracting. Whatever is meant to be, will be.