Versatile Visiting Nurses...Home Care Requires Diverse Clinical & People Skills
Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) was once exclusively a nursing organization. In fact, we were the first to offer in-home nursing care in this region over 125 years ago. Today, we provide an array of services. However, our name remains relevant because nurses are still at the center of our care model.
Throughout VNA, nurses play an integral role. They can be found responding to inquiries from the public and other healthcare providers; serving as case managers who devise care plans to ensure that the needs of every patient and caregiver are met; providing one-on-one skilled nursing care; dispensing self-care and caregiver instructions; and, facilitating in-service and skills lab training for their peers.
Experienced, accomplished nurses are also serving as team leaders, mentors and educators, while executives — including CEO Faith F. Scott, MPH, MBA — ensure that our organization keeps abreast of a myriad of clinical breakthroughs and administrative details to consistently deliver the finest quality home care.
A Positive Patient Experience
As VNA’s satisfaction ratings and outcomes illustrate, the work of our dedicated nurses makes a lasting impression on patients. In fact, when asked about their VNA experience, they typically focus on their nurse’s friendly, supportive manner and what a difference the nurse has made in their health and quality of life.
“VNA is the best,” said Peter Biggiani recently. At age 91, he’s a seasoned home healthcare consumer who’s had experiences with many providers but prefers VNA. Under the leadership of Lynn W., RN, BSN, whom he calls “just wonderful,” Peter received coordinated care from a team that included physical therapist Denis S., PT, DPT, and occupational therapist Jessica M., OTR/L, in the aftermath of a fall that resulted in a head injury.
With the collaborative help of his home care team, Peter recovered from his accident and continues to require wound care, along with some household and grooming assistance provided by certified home health aide Stephen W. Using a portable wound vac and clinical skills honed through VNA’s New Grad and continuing education programs, Lynn has been treating Peter for foot sores that were refusing to heal, a complication of his type 2 diabetes. Under her expert care, just one sore remains now and it’s almost healed. “I can’t praise VNA enough. Everyone is so helpful and cheerful,” said Peter. “My nurse, Lynn, is just fantastic.”
Multi-Tasking to Achieve the Best Outcomes
The opportunity to meet and cultivate relationships with patients, like Peter Biggiani, is what drew Lynn W. to visiting nursing, a position once generally reserved for mid-career nurses. VNA’s unique training and orientation program for carefully selected recent graduates with a bachelor of nursing (BSN) degree gave Lynn the tools needed to be successful in the role of visiting nurse. The one-on-one training she received from mentor Claudia C., RN, BSN, coupled with the skills learned as a nursing student at Ramapo College of New Jersey, prepared Lynn for the rewarding work of home healthcare.
“No two days are exactly the same in my job because I perform so many different services and my patients’ needs are constantly changing,” Lynn observed. “On any given day, I’m conferring with their doctors by phone; coordinating services with other VNA staff members; checking vital signs; collecting blood for lab tests; providing wound care; checking catheters, PIC lines and ports; helping my patients order assistive devices and equipment; and providing self-care and caregiver instructions.”
“Visiting nursing affords me autonomy without feeling overwhelmed because my team leader is never more than a phone call away. We also meet weekly to review the status of each of my cases,” she said. “There are plenty of opportunities to learn from more experienced colleagues.”