Home Care nurses recognized by national Home Care magazine | Health
Each day, nurses touch lives in some special way. Home Health nurses have the unique opportunity of caring for patients in their own environment, serving as the patient’s link to the necessary medical care that enhances their quality of life. Two local Forrest General Home Care nurses have been recognized for doing just that – providing extra-special care that their patients need and, more importantly, creating a heartfelt friendship.
Bobbie Clark, RN, and Lark Rials, RN, nurses with Forrest General Home Care, were recognized among the Top 50 Home Care and Hospice Nurses by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. As part of the organization’s celebration of National Nurses Week, NAHC launched a search asking its 33,000 members, affiliated state associations and the American public to help identify the top hospice and home care nurses in the nation. The nominations were evaluated by an expert committee and winners from each state were published in the May issue of CARING Magazine. Each of the nurses will be honored at the NAHC Annual Meeting.
“We are incredibly proud of all of our nurses, and are not surprised that Bobbie and Lark were recognized by the NAHC for the care that they give their patients,” said Forrest General Home Care and Hospice director Melita Miller. “Our agency has been recognized by some of the most prestigious organizations in the United States, including being named one of the Top 100 Home Care agencies in the nation as part of the 2011 Top 100 HomeCare Elite. It is incredible that our nurses are being recognized on an individual level for that same quality care.”
The home telehealth program at Forrest General Home Care is an important tool in the nurses’ repertoire of skills, allowing their patients to stay out of the hospital and receive care at home. Nurses work collaboratively with the home telehealth team in order to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Clark and Rials work collaboratively with a telehealth team to improve the quality of life of one of their patients, Billie Mitchell.
Mitchell, 76, has congestive heart failure and had been in the hospital many times before starting to receive care at home through Forrest General Home Care. Mitchell lives in a rural area and was unable to make the 40-mile trip to see her physician on a frequent basis. Instead of having to travel to see her doctor, Rials prepared a report on the patient’s medical history and current condition for a local physician to help provide a way for Mitchell to get medical coverage closer to home. The nurses were always more than willing to travel to the home to check on her when the home telehealth nurses found abnormal readings or she was having problems. Clark would also take time to pick up medications from the pharmacy for Mitchell that she otherwise would not have been able to get until the next day.
“My mother had hospice in another state and the nurses acted like they were doing whatever they could to get out as quickly as they could,” said Mitchell, “but Lark and Bobbie always make me feel like I belong to them.” Mitchell also mentioned that the nurses often interact with her pets, who are very important members of her family. “Lark has a routine and when she gets through with her computer and puts it in her bag, my dog knows it is time to get some special attention from her and that means a lot to me.”
“While many nurses exemplify expert skills, time management and organizational ability, care and compassion cannot be taught,” said Janet McMillian, Forrest General Home Care and Hospice nurse practitioner, in her nomination form for Clark and Rials. “These nurses do everything in their power to make an experience for each patient that is rewarding, enriching, and results in higher quality patient care. They are true examples of caring.”
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is a nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. To learn more about NAHC or see a complete listing of the Top 50 Home Care and Hospice nurses in the online issue of CARING Magazine, visit www.nahc.org.