Flexibility and Autonomy
For over 15 years, Dawn de la Vega has been a part of Memorial Healthcare System. Starting with direct patient care in a procedural area, Dawn then climbed the Clinical Ladder and advanced to a Manager position when she earned her Master’s degree. Now as Director of Nursing for Memorial Home Health, Dawn is building a compassionate, high-caliber clinical team!
The flexibility and autonomy that Home Health offers are what drew Dawn, and nurses like Aislinn Woody, to the job. Aislinn began working at Memorial in March as a Home Health RN. Raising a six-year-old child with a husband who’s deployed nearly half the year isn’t an easy task, so the flexibility Home Health affords Aislinn has been a blessing. Not only is she able to better care for her patients and her own family; Aislinn can now focus on her pursuing her education and earning her doctorate in nursing.
Working inside of patient’s homes gives Aislinn a lot of autonomy, but that doesn’t mean they’re not supported by their team. “You can go a week without setting foot in the office, but you’re still in a supportive environment. My clinical manager is always available to communicate,” says Aislinn. It’s this flow of communication that allows Home Health Nurses at Memorial to go above and beyond. By facilitating interdisciplinary communication, we’re able to use a holistic approach to improve a patient’s recovery.
Custom Tailored Nursing
Many nurses find working in Home Health takes some adjustment, especially if they’ve transitioned from an acute care clinical setting. As a home health nurse, you must be on top of your game, be able to think on your feet, and really understand the art of nursing. “The idea of going into home health was a little nerve-wracking at first. You have a lot of resources and support in the hospital.” Aislinn continued, “Home Health requires a nurse to shift in their thinking. It’s more about teaching patients to manage their health or illness at home, independently. You really want to empower patients to do it for themselves.”
While many nurses may find that adjustment challenging at first, the genuine gratitude they receive from their patients is just as rewarding. “Working in Home Health was one of my favorite jobs because you’re in the patient’s environment. Plus, I rarely came across a patient who didn’t appreciate or express their gratitude for every single visit,” says Dawn. “You’re working to help them be as healthy as they can be in the environment they want to be in.” Aislinn added, “Seeing patients succeed and watching them take ownership of their health is special. It’s something you can’t see in other settings. Recently, I took care of a woman in her 90s, who was very close to her family. They wanted to care for her, so I had to teach them how to administer an IV, remove a catheter, etc. It was wonderful seeing them come together and care for her so she could remain in a setting where she was comfortable.”
Our Culture. Your Career.
The love of a hands-on approach to in-home patient care isn’t the only thing that attracted Dawn and Aislinn to Memorial. Our culture played a significant role in their decision as well. “I was surprised by Memorial’s culture and ongoing commitment to training. As a leader, you know that when you take care of your employees, they will take care of your patients.” Dawn continues, “Also, the visibility and the human factor associated with our Executive Leadership. They’ve always been visionary, they’ve always done well by the organization, but their egos don’t reflect it. They’re just genuine.”
Another aspect of our culture that Aislinn found attractive was Memorial’s commitment to the community: “I believe in the not-for-profit healthcare model. So it was nice to find an organization like that in a place dominated by for-profit healthcare systems. They fill the niche of being a part of the community they serve.”
Finally, Dawn has some excellent advice for any nurse looking to join the Memorial Home Health team. She says, “Not only seek us out because of the excellent organization we are but bring your own ideas too. That’s what helps us become even better. We can always learn from energetic, motivated people.”
Learn more about #teamMHSflrodia and become a part of our fantastic Home Health Nursing Team.