Day in the life of
Registered Nurse – Jami Carder, BSN RN
I am a Registered Nurse and I work at the Visiting Nurses Association of Cape Cod.
My Typical Day
My typical day consists of visiting patients in their homes. My patients’ diagnoses range from coming home from surgery to needing wound care or intravenous therapy. I perform complete physical assessments of each patient, which includes taking vital signs, listening to their hearts and lungs, assessing their skin and mobility, among other things. I assess their medications, making sure they are taking the correct medications at the correct times. I perform skilled nursing tasks (which is a requirement of insurance companies to have home nurses). These tasks include, but are not limited to, performing wound care, administering intravenous or injectable medications, interesting and caring for urinary catheters, monitoring responses to new medications or treatments, and drawing blood to deliver to a lab. We focus on teaching our patients, whenever possible. This is particularly important when someone is newly diagnosed with a chronic condition. Whether it’s diabetes or heart disease, I make sure my patients know everything they need to know about managing their disease. This includes managing their medications, understanding the importance of diet and exercise, and which symptoms to look for to determine if they need to see their doctor. I communicate with doctors and family members to ensure my patients receive the best care possible.
The best part of my job is the relationships I form with my patients. In the home setting, it’s just me and them. There aren’t other patients or coworkers or phone calls taking me away as there would be in the hospital setting. I give them my undivided attention, and we both benefit from this. As I tend to see the same patients repeatedly, we get to know each other. Many of my patients consider me their friend, and I feel the same way. Being sick can be scary, so it’s a bit easier to trust someone caring for you when you’ve gotten to know them.
I’d say one of the downfalls of my job is that we go out in any weather. I live in the northeast and have spent many days standing in freezing rain on someone’s doorstep, ringing the bell, and it doesn’t get answered because they might not be home or they can’t hear me. I carry all of my supplies with me, so very often everything gets soaked or covered with snow. But, I’ve learned along the way, and prepare by making sure I’m dressed for the elements!
assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.