Interim HealthCare employee, Connie Harris, RN, Wound Care Certified, interviews with Career Street how her major career change led to new rewards. Check out the full Q&A down below as she discusses her company background, duties as an RN, challenges on the job, what qualities every nurse needs, and more.
What is your Company’s Name?
Interim HealthCare (Erie and Meadville Region)
What does this Company do?
Interim HealthCare provides the full continuum of home care, from pediatric care to nonmedical care, all levels of skilled home care including nursing care and home therapy, hospice care, palliative care and staffing services. We provide home care from birth until end of life.
What is the size of this company?
Locally, in Erie and Meadville, we have 200 plus employees and 400 plus patients we provide care for under all service lines. We are proud to be locally owned and operated but have regional and national support through our Columbus, Ohio owner group and Sunrise Florida Franchise Group. One interesting fact about Interim HealthCare is that we have a 501C Foundation through which we provide yearly donations to more than 130 nonprofit organizations throughout our Footprint. We are very proud of this accomplishment.
How long have you been with this company?
It will be 9 years in May of 2023 – they actually hired me while I had casts on both of my feet and I was on crutches and they were excited to bring me onboard. They impressed me from the start.
What is your education background?
Mercyhurst School of Nursing for my LPN in 2004 and Mercyhurst University for my RN, in 2010, and then Wound Care Certification in 2013.
What is your job title/nature of position?|
I am an RN Field Nurse, Wound Care Certified. My job entails evaluating and treating a variety of patients, not just wound patients, managing PICC lines and all kinds of IVs from antibiotics to fluid replacement, post-op care, chronic medical condition management, such as Congestive Heart Failure and Kidney disease, catheters of all kinds, tubes of all kinds, ostomies of all kinds. You would be surprised with the diversity of medical care and conditions in home care. I know I was surprised and delighted, it has been such a great learning experience, and it is even better when I get to take students from various universities in the area
for their clinical experience, as I was previously a tutor at Mercyhurst.
Describe day to day activities
It is SO much more than just “nursing.” At interim we are considered RN Case Managers, which then pulls in the aspect of getting people scheduled for their follow-up visits/care, making sure supplies get ordered in a timely manner, managing medications and assessing how they are working for the patient, talking to doctors’ offices to update them on a change in condition, being the one in charge in that home to make sure the patients get everything they need. Then we also have a medical social worker at Interim who can help our patients get services and community help if needed. Doing this job, you have to realize, you are the only one at that home taking care of things and making sure family and caregivers know how to take care of their loved one. There is no next shift to pick up after you or follow through where you left off. It is all you so you better bring it.
What is the best thing about this career?
The patients of course, I think it is more about the sincere gratitude they have for being able to stay at home and get the care they would otherwise have to be in a facility for. Another thing about home care is you get a chance to build a rapport with your patients. They trust you because they can see that you know what you are doing. If they don’t trust you, they don’t tell you everything, and you cannot take care of them effectively.
What are the challenges you have faced in this career?
Insurance and learning how it impacts our care as clinicians is definitely a challenge. Medicare guidelines are the bane of my existence sometimes because I feel like they prevent me from giving the best care sometimes and we “have to work with what we have.”
What qualities are important to this position?
I think it would be empathy, understanding what your patient is going through and helping them get through it in the best possible way. Also, important are people skills such as making someone feel like they are well taken care of, no matter how much time you have or don’t have.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have been through a lot of health problems, so I think that makes me more empathetic to my patients. I have had a stroke, a heart procedure, had surgery on both my feet and my right knee twice. I am just glad to have gotten through all these things and be able to continue doing do my job, because I love what I do and l love who I do it for. I keep telling my boss that my job is a blessing to me, and I really mean it.
Interested in working in home care? Join our nursing staff now at Interim HealthCare!
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