Giving patients the ability to heal at home

We asked Ilene Maurer-Scalici, RN, case manager, Parkview Home Health Services, who’s been with Parkview for four years, to share a bit about her role as a home care nurse.

I always knew I wanted to do home care, mainly for the one-to-one patient-nurse dynamic. Before starting this role, I worked in a nursing home, and constantly got pulled in every which direction. Home health care gives you more time with the patient, and allows you to provide your undivided attention. I love that I can just be in the moment with the patient in their home, which is where they really want to be while they’re healing.

With home health care, we see patients in all age groups and we have patients with a variety of different medical conditions. From case to case, we could be there educating, or administering IV antibiotics. There’s a wide range of treatments we provide. Our services are typically associated with an acute medical condition, where the patient needs wound care or intravenous medications, etc. That variety allows us to stay current on hands-on skills.

I love that I’m often able to provide the patient with the knowledge they need to stay out of the hospital, allowing them to be where healing is best, in their home, surrounded by their belongings. That’s where they’re comfortable. I also get a better picture of things that might be going on, as opposed to what they tell you. When I go into someone’s home, I might observe obstacles to their medications, such as a lack of resources or understanding. Because we’re able to get in there, we observe things providers in other settings don't see. 

I’ve developed wonderful relationships with patients. You’re there when they need someone most, giving them individual attention. It makes it easier to foster that trust. A lot of what we do is talking and listening. We find things that can help them. That might be a medical social worker or a team member who can address their spiritual concerns. No matter what their concerns are, we can get to the bottom of it and get their pain or concern under control.

We want to make sure the patient’s needs are met and we have a high standard. At Parkview, our training is extensive and we all serve with a high level of skill and knowledge.

I think home health care gets overlooked as an option coming out of nursing school, but I love it. We have added designated on call nurses 24/7 to allow the nurses to have a better work-life balance. There’s a lot of flexibility and freedom. In between patients, on that drive, I can focus on what’s next. I can plan my day. And we provide a lot more care than people think. There’s so much more to it. It’s great.


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