With many people making choices to take control of their own health, it is becoming more common for home health professionals to come to their patients in their homes, rather than patients having to travel to clinics. This can help reduce stress around treatments and improve chronic disease management. Lori Smith, Home Therapies Nurse at Satellite WellBound, talks about her career in nursing.
What does your current job entail?
“I train patients with Chronic Kidney Disease to perform their peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis at home. Following this intensive training, I meet with them on a monthly basis – and more frequently if needed – to carry out lab work, assist them in procuring supplies and managing their medication, and facilitate their doctor appointments.”
What is your favorite part of your daily duties?
“The most fulfilling part of my daily work is spending time with patients and their families. Patient care has always been the best part of my job.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“Absolutely! The most important lessons I learned in school had more to do with people skills. Between dialysis, restricted diets and medications, managing kidney disease is like a part-time job for our patients. They need a nurse who is able to read them and offer emotional support and understanding.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?
“Be prepared for a demanding, but rewarding career! I have a huge responsibility to my patients – their lives are literally in my hands. We develop long-term relationships with our patients and it’s difficult when the time comes to say goodbye. This close relationship with my patients, while emotionally challenging at times, is also the most rewarding part of my job. I have fewer patients, see them on a regular basis and am able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each of them. I see this as a throwback to the patient-centered healthcare that was broadly in practice many years ago – but with the advantages of cutting-edge technology and a full range of other modern-day benefits.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.