Claire Schend, R.N., recently moved from Yakima, Washington, to Fort Collins, Colorado, where she joined the BrightStar Care® Fort Collins/Loveland family.
Growing up, Claire had a passion for science and enjoyed studying anatomy and physiology. When she understood how universally nursing skills apply and that you could help anyone in almost any culture, she knew that it was her calling. She began her career in home healthcare and went on to work in hospitals where she honed her skills and gained experience.
When she relocated to Colorado and was looking for a new job, she was excited to join the growing BrightStar Care team.
“Since we are growing, there are always new challenges to overcome. So, I find that I am growing and learning with them. There’s also some flexibility in home healthcare that allows me the freedom to make judgment calls based on my own experience. That’s really empowering,” shared Claire.
During a recent in-home assessment, Claire made a crucial decision.
“This was a typical, introductory appointment where we meet with the family and patient. I went with our marketing and sales representative, who does the financial side of things, while I check the home, meet the family, and assess the patient and their surroundings. I’ll listen to their lungs and do a head-to-toe assessment,” said Claire
At BrightStar Care, each individual plan of care has RN oversight and management, a defining characteristic of our mission to improve the health and quality of life of those entrusted to our care.
She shared how, in home healthcare, she can gain insight into the family dynamic, which is an important part of understanding her patient’s needs.
In this particular situation, she was speaking with the daughter of the patient, who informed Claire of her father’s hospital history and how recently his health had worsened. He had changed, become totally fatigued, and he couldn’t walk anymore. This information aligned with the clear signs Claire saw in his vitals and symptoms. His heart rate and oxygen levels were too low.
Claire’s previous experience working on the cardiac floor in the ICU made her no stranger to this situation, and she encouraged the family to advocate for their father and tell the ER that they wanted him admitted to see a cardiologist. She shared the terminology the family should use to alert the medical professionals of the care he needed, and that he may need a pacemaker.
Luckily, the family followed Claire’s instructions and he was admitted to the hospital that day. The doctors shared that, had they not followed Claire's instructions, their father might not be alive today.
“It really makes me feel like I am actually making a difference,” shared Claire.
If you feel like home healthcare is where your skills can have an impact, apply today!
While Claire emphasizes the importance of caregivers having hospital experience, bringing those skills to home healthcare is where she feels she can use her knowledge most effectively.
“I like it because I am truly out in the community. I am able to go house-to-house and care for my patients in their natural living environment. You can help someone so much by just being in their home and seeing what they need help with or need to change in their everyday routine for better health.”
She adds that families often don’t know when something is or isn’t an emergency, so home healthcare educates and helps families spot problems before it is too late. This is where home healthcare encourages a proactive and preventative approach to healthcare, rather than reactive.
Claire often sees patients return home after the hospital without a true understanding of the care they need after a hospital visit or surgery, how to handle medication, or translate all of the new information. Following through with patients and seeing the whole picture is where home healthcare can really improve patients' overall outcomes and make a difference.
Is home healthcare the next step for your family member? Set up a time for your loved one’s complimentary in-home assessment, today!