The role of a nurse working is home care is more complex than most people realize. April Vonderembse, RN, BSN, explains how multi-faceted her responsibilities are. She also reflects on the need to tailor care to the needs of each individual.
As a home care RN case manager with Cleveland Clinic home care, I care for patients in the home setting using a variety of nursing skills. While not a complete list, my work includes wound care, IV infusions, patient and caregiver education, collaborating care with other disciplines, providing emotional support to patients and families, creating an environment for open communication, and acting as a liaison between patients, their families, physicians, and other health care providers.
Nursing is a field in which you are a lifelong learner. It is a field in which you have to think critically on a daily basis. I feel I do this with every patient I see, every day. As a nurse, I have to be able to communicate with people who come from different backgrounds. Every human being learns differently, so I need to adjust my teaching so that the patient and/or caregiver are able to learn new information. I need to be able to see the patient as a whole person and report findings to physicians, so that we are providing the best care for each individual patient. This is my career. It drives me to be a learner in my everyday life outside of my career and on a personal level as well. Learning never ends.