Helping Patients Progress: Freida Isbell’s Story

Every day, Freida enters a new home. She’s not a regular visitor; she’s a Home Health employee, and she has goals to reach before she leaves. “The majority of our patients,” Freida shared with us, “are homebound.” They have to be able to meet the homebound standards and have a physician sign their orders and work with us to help them. We’re a short-term agency that takes care of them in their homes while they’re sick and homebound; it’s not a long-term service to make them dependent on us. We want them to get better. So we go in and assess their needs to see what they need and put them on the path to discharge. That’s where the individual Home Health care provider can really cultivate their skills. As Freida points out, everyone in her division has to be fairly independent because they’re commonly out in the field by themselves. You have to trust your gut instinct and know when to contact the doctor’s office and when to work with them one-on-one. We do have weekly team meetings with our supervisor and team, but our stories come from the patients and families we work with every day. Most of our patients come from Baptist Health hospice, or the rehab center, and we help them with their health and how their family can help them manage it. It’s a whole other world from the hospital setting. One of Freida’s most pertinent memories in the last few years (she’s been in the Home Health world for 34 years, so she has quite a few stories!) involved caring for a patient where the management process seemed just out of reach for him. He was an ostomy patient, on an IV, and already homebound. His health journey seemed rocky at first. That is, until Freida stepped in. It seemed a bit mind-boggling at first, but once we assessed that patient we went through and taught him and his family how to better manage his health. We went from seeing him twice a day to once a week. That’s what we want. We want them to progress and feel comfortable. And of course we’re always there for them, should something go wrong. But as Freida notes, our Home Health department within Baptist Health does a great job of giving you the tools you need should the worst-case scenario arise. “You get a lot more hands-on skills training in Home Health. You have to do labs and you can’t care on the certain specialists you can find in a hospital, since you do it all in the home,” Freida explained. That’s the most important aspect of anyone searching to join the Home Health team: when you’re caring for your patients, you’re doing it in their home. You have the power to make real connections with the people you’re helping. That bond is why amazing RNs like Freida have remained in Home Health for so many years. If you’re looking to make connective care that lasts, considering joining Home Health. Our open positions are always up-to-date.

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