Carol was my senior nursing student at Widener University in 2014. When we talked about her professional goals, she surprised me by expressing an interest in pediatric home care. No other student had ever shown an interest in home care as a first nursing position. I was intrigued. Her sweet demeanor and tender heart were perfectly suited for caring for children and their families, but I wanted to know the origin of her interest.
Carol is from a village in northwestern England. In 1997, her mother died at age 35 from ovarian cancer when Carol was 16. “District nurses” provided volunteer nursing care to her mother for the two years of her illness. Carol told me, “In Great Britain, home care has always been preferred over hospital care for patients. Those district nurses had an indelible impact on our whole family. They provided care and support to all of us, not just my mother. I knew from my personal experience that I wanted to do the same thing when I became a nurse.”
The Pediatric Nurse Residency Program bridges the gap from classroom to practice
I referred Carol to BAYADA Home Health Care’s Pediatrics Specialty Practice and their Nurse Residency Program for new nurse graduates. This comprehensive, hands-on training program is designed to prepare recent registered nurse (RN) graduates for their transition into a professional role in pediatric home care. The 12-week training period is followed by a nine-month residency period as a pediatric field nurse.
I assured her that the residency program would add practice to her college theory through classroom instruction, individual simulation lab training and practice, and mentored field experience. Additionally, BAYADA Pediatrics would provide ongoing support when she assumed autonomous care of her clients. Carol took my advice and enrolled in the Nurse Residency Program. I attended her superb presentation at the Nurse Residency Program graduation ceremony and was proud of her success and confidence.
Caring for children with compassion, excellence, and reliability
Carol currently provides nursing care for two children, both age 10. One child has a feeding disorder and the other has cerebral palsy, autism, esophageal reflux, and requires gastrostomy feedings. Carol recently talked to me about the psychosocial dynamics, in addition to the clinical aspect, of pediatric home care. Her client with autism and his mother required patience and time to win their trust. Initially, the child wanted nothing to do with Carol and would run away screaming when she arrived for her shift. Over time, Carol offered consistent reassurance and quiet compassion that resulted in the child running to her with glee every time she arrived.
BAYADA Clinical Manager Kim Burb confirmed that Carol is doing very well in home care. “She is confident and well liked by the families and children she serves,” says Kim. “We are looking forward to increasing her level of clinical responsibility with more medically complex cases. We have assured her that we will provide thorough training, orientation, and on-going support to do so.”
An invaluable program for starting her pediatric nursing career
Carol recently told me that the Nurse Residency Program was invaluable in preparing her to meet her professional goal of becoming a pediatric home care nurse. She explains, “The children and families I care for remind me of my childhood when the district nurses cared for my mother and me. I hope to leave the same impression on my clients.”
The power of one person like Carol to affect the lives of others in meaningful ways is priceless.
LPNS can now enroll in our residency program!