Home Health Care Nurse Reflections

(GoErie) As a home health care nurse for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Erie County, Jessica Regan, RN, BSN, has made home health care nursing her livelihood. “As a home health care nurse, I am able to create a special type of bond that cannot be created in the typical nursing environment. We go into a patient’s home at a vulnerable point of their life; not only to help them get better, but oftentimes to educate them on how to live easier,” explains Regan.

A graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Regan has been a nurse for just over seven years and a home health care nurse at the VNA for the past three. To her, working at a not-for-profit home health agency such as the VNA of Erie County is a decision she will never stray from. Regan explains, “As a health care professional in a not-for-profit atmosphere, I am able to focus on the needs of our patients first, without having to worry about the ‘bottom line.’ With shorter lengths of hospital stays and advances in technology, home health nurses are able to keep the doctor informed while keeping our patients in the comfort of their own homes.”

Over the years technology has significantly impacted the way Regan cares for her patients recovering from various types of wounds, whether they may be surgical, diabetic ulcers, or even bedsores. “Equipped with cameras and special point of care technology, I am able to take a picture of a patient’s wound and notify the doctor without the patient having to leave their home … we really are able to advocate for the patient’s rights.”

For example, current home care patient, John Kotyuk is being treated by Regan for ulcers on his legs as a result from chemotherapy treatments due to pancreatic cancer. Kotyuk and wife, Pat retired volunteers for VNA Hospice explain that they know they are in good hands each time Regan enters their home.

“Each patient, whether I am able to realize it at the time or not, is able to bring a little bit of perspective in my life, no day is ever the same and we are able to work together to serve everyone, regardless of the ability to pay,” explains Regan.

Through her compassion, professionalism and commitment, it is evident that Regan loves being a nurse. She says, “I am able to break down barriers that we all put up; no two days are the same and I am proud to be a home health care nurse.”

When not busy at work, Regan enjoys spending time with her husband, Jered and 4 month old daughter Koraline.