Currently a RN Case Manager for Cleveland Clinic Home Care, Katie Cunningham, RN, BSN, explains how the role of a home care nurse differs from hospital nursing, and how she contributes to the healthcare team.
I have been a nurse since 2006. The first 7 years of my career were spent the in the hospital setting. For the last 7 years, I have worked in home healthcare. It was a big change for me, but one I definitely do not regret. As do all positions, home health has its unique challenges. We see a wide range of people in all different kinds of living situations. This can be difficult at times but is also extremely rewarding.
I am fortunate to get to see a side of the patients that most of their doctors and other healthcare professionals do not. This gives me a completely new perspective to the many factors that affect our patients’ overall health. When seen in the hospital, patients are sick and often scared. Being able to treat them in the comfort of their own homes usually makes them feel more at ease and allows for more individualized and personal care.
Today more than ever, there is a large focus on community-based healthcare. Since I have been in home health it has grown tremendously, and is now receiving more recognition. I feel I am a very important and often vital part of each patient’s health care team. I am passionate about my job and love having a positive impact on patient’s lives. Overall, I am just proud to be a nurse!