“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”*
During National Nurses Week, we wanted to honor nurses everywhere by taking the time to truly hear what they have to say. A few nurses who provide in-home care with BrightStar Care agencies throughout the United States shared their hearts and minds with us.
What’s different about providing in-home care compared to other settings?
Maggie Barbosa-Barreiro (NJ-Morris County): Care provided in the home setting allows you to focus on one person at a time and build a relationship with them and their families. You’re also able to truly able to cater to their individual needs with a person-centered tailored plan of care and follow the progression of that individual over a period of time.
Kerrie Soares (OH-Centerville/South Dayton): The difference with working in in-home care compared to any other setting is the independence, including the ability to use my skills, develop a plan of care and help people stay in their own home as long as possible.
Kwabena Adjei (VA-Fairfax/McLean/Reston): The biggest difference to me is the fact that with in-home care you're by yourself and get to make the final decisions on most matters as the clinical provider. (Fortunately, team support is just a click away with our mobile app for managing plans of care.)
Karee Curry (ID-Boise): While my focus is now geriatrics, I was previously a certified maternal-newborn nurse and worked in the hospital in Labor and Delivery. I had done in-home care PRN for many years as a CNA, but this was my first full time experience as an in-home nurse.
The most noticeable difference to me is the patient relationships. I was very bonded to my patients in the hospital setting, however I saw them for a maximum of 48 hours and then never again. It was like I was so close and yet so far. Now I’m able to bond with patients on a completely different level and am involved in just about every aspect of their lives.
Not only am I caring for them in times of dire need, but I also participate in their everyday lives. What a blessing to be a part of the entire picture! When I see them for reassessments, it is a rekindling of the relationship that we have developed, and I am reminded of how special my patients are and how important our work is.
What surprised you the most about providing in-home care?
MBB: I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much I really enjoyed meeting new people every day and being able to provide for their needs in their homes, while allowing them to regain some of the control that is usually lost in other settings.
Paige Gilvin (KY-East Louisville): It’s wonderful to feel how accommodating and appreciative patients are when they are in their own setting.
KC: What has surprised me the most is the depth involved with in-home care. Working in many different settings over the years has given me insight into the level of care nurses in general are able to provide patients. Until BrightStar Care, I never thought about how important every little step of the journey and every little detail is for our patients. I hope it’s the little things that I do for my patients that sets my care apart.
What made you want to become an in-home care nurse and what would you tell someone who’s thinking about a career focused on in-home care?
MBB: Being a home care nurse was not part of my career plan, but once I was introduced to BrightStar Care it made me feel like it was made for me. It allows me to do everything that we were taught to do as nurses, but were never able to accomplish in other settings due to staffing shortages and massive workloads.
I tell any nurse that I meet that the home care setting is the best place to be in because we are able to perform our jobs "by the book" and provide our clients with everything they need — not just their immediate medical needs, but their social and emotional health needs as well. We are also able to build long lasting, trusting relationships that we’re not able to foster in other settings and we provide a wide range of services we deliver.
PG: I was looking to get away from bedside nursing, I have a passion for infusions and love starting IVs.
I would tell them that they’ll love the rewarding feeling of seeing someone regain their independence following home care support and training. It’s wonderful to use all the skills you’ve been taught and to know that YOU are making a difference in the client’s ability to stay home. Caring for one client at a time is awesome, compared to being responsible for 30 patients with call lights.
KA: With home care you get the chance to work one-on-one with patients and have the time to do what is needed for them — unlike other settings where you have multiple patients and everything seems to be rushed. The flexibility of working with patients to decide on a time that suits both parties is an added bonus.
KC: Not only does it take a special person to be a nurse, but it also takes a special kind of nurse to provide in-home care. The relationships you build with your patients are like none other. You have the ability with in-home care to literally impact every aspect of your patients’ lives. I cannot say I have ever felt that impactful or had that ability in my previous careers.
What do you find most rewarding — or what makes you passionate — about your career providing in-home nursing care?
PG: I also have Master’s in teaching, so I really enjoy spending time with the patient and the family to ensure they have the education needed to provide care for their loved ones at home.
MBB: I find that the immediate effect my services have in someone’s life, starting with their ability to stay in their home and have their needs met, is the most rewarding. I am passionate about being able to help them during their most difficult times, as well as teaching and empowering them to overcome the hurdles they’re facing.
KS: I remember staying in a client’s studio apartment to staple blankets over the large windows because of an impending hurricane. I was afraid that if something hit her window it would shatter and she could be hurt. Another time, one of my colleagues put on snowshoes and trudged through the city in the middle of a huge snowstorm to administer insulin to all of the clients that needed it. There are many stories of home care staff that rise up to meet or exceed the needs of their clients.
KC: I have had the blessing of being able to work with patients from the moment they become ill until they take their last breaths. I have worked with mothers whose children are sick and they cannot imagine how they are going to get through this. I could never explain the feeling of pure gratitude that I receive from my patient’s families when my team has been able to assist their loved one in their greatest time of need. It warms my heart so much to hear from families of how wonderful our staff is, how we impacted their loved one’s lives and how truly grateful they are. That is what makes everything worthwhile!
Sharing Our Gratitude
At BrightStar Care, we appreciate our nurses and are so proud of those who serve our clients every single day. As we celebrate National Nurses Week, we want to share a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, who perfectly describes what we see in each of our nurses, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Thank you for your dedication!
* Quote from Bryant H. McGill