Kevin Holstein, RN, CMSRN, started out in the car business. But he always wanted to work in the healthcare field.
“I always felt the need to work in healthcare,” Holstein said. “I mentioned it to my wife one night and said ‘but you know I’m too old to go back to school.’ When I got home from work the next day, she had everything laid out on the table on how to apply to nursing school, how to get accepted and how we were going to pay for it. She said, ‘I am not saying that’s what you have to do, but don’t tell me it’s not an option.’ So, married with four kids, I started all over.”
Healthcare professionals come from diverse backgrounds and choose their careers for different reasons. But they stay in the profession because of a passion for what they do. And those who work in home health and hospice find this passion gets even stronger as they spend time one-on-one with patients and their families.
Stephanie Ruby, RN, has a passion. She enjoys home health because it gives her the time to focus on teaching patients the skills needed to improve their health and live independently.
“There are so many situations when people get a new piece of equipment, a glucometer, or a blood pressure cuff. They say, ‘I hate to bother you, but if you have time could you explain this to me?’ I just reiterate the fact that that’s why we’re here,” Ruby said. “We’re here to help you and teach you about whatever equipment you have, whatever disease you have, so it’s never a waste of time.”
“That’s what I love about home health,” Ruby said. “It’s that one-on-one setting. I don’t have 14 people down the hall waiting for me. While I’m here with you, you get all my time. There’s no rush.”
Ruby explained that in addition to clinical care, home health nurses take time to look at the home environment, identify medical equipment needs, and educate on medications. They can recommend lifestyle changes to help with healing and show a patient how to live more safely at home.
This passion for teaching is fundamental to Ruby’s philosophy of patient care. She tells patients, “I want to teach you. I don’t want to just do things for you. I want to teach you how to fill up your pill planner. I want to teach you how to eat right and monitor your weight and blood sugars. I don’t want you to become dependent on me. I’m here to help and teach and get you back to your independent self.”
Jackie Martinez, RN, Tendercare Hospice, has a passion for working with seniors. “I have always loved working with the geriatric population, and so going into nursing school I kind of felt that’s where I wanted to be.”
She began working in hospice part-time to test the waters and make sure it was a good fit. “It didn’t take long for me to transition over to full-time because I soon found this was an area of nursing that I absolutely loved,” Martinez said.
“There are so many things that make it special,” she explained. “It’s the families and the patients, the bond you’re able to build while taking care of them at such an important time in their lives. It really gives you a chance to spend a lot of time with them. I feel like I have formed some wonderful bonds with great families.”
Holstein’s days in the car business are long gone, and he has since worked in hospitals, public health nursing, and dialysis care. But home health fuels his passion for continuous learning and developing new skills to help others.
“I feel like it makes me a really strong nurse,” he said. “I’m not just stuck in one setting. You help with diet, you help with mood, you help with sleep… every different thing that goes into patient healing.
“Being hands-on, being involved, really keeps me up to par where I need to be as a nurse,” Holstein said.
Holstein now uses this passion in a different way as a Regional Clinical Administrator for A Path of Care Network. “When I got into management, and especially home health management, I wanted to share with others some of the philosophies that were important to me. I could affect more people and impact more people. The biggest thing is to try to do as much good as you can.”
Holstein said that providing care in the home gives nurses a chance to really get to know the patients. “They look forward to you coming,” he said. “You may be there only an hour, but that hour not only helps with their healing, but does something for you as well.”
If you have a passion for healthcare and are ready to get back to the heart of nursing, visit our careers page. We have opportunities available across Oklahoma.