About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can your major of study improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services?
Essay response by Jasmine Jackson
Nursing is such a broad field that it expands to much more than just the hospital. As a nursing major, I have dedicated my life to provide the best patient care to every patient that I come in contact with. I have always had a special place in my heart for older adults. We all eventually will grow old, and I love talking to older adults because I get to hear their wisdom and listen to all of the memories that they have made. Therefore, when I am given the opportunity to take care of an older adult I take it very seriously. I treat them as I would my own mother if she was in that very situation. As nurses, we are naturally caring people. The impact that we can have on patient’s life is unexplainable. Besides the typical elements of the nursing job, like giving meds, education, assessments, and many others, nurses have the ability to help their patients in a certain way that many other people would not be able to. A lot of times, especially with older adults, we are comforters and advocates for our patients. The key to working with older adults is to gain their trust and from then on, the door is open for the nurse to really be able to get the patient to stick with a proper care plan.
The interesting thing about home care is the fact that you are not essentially in your comfort zone. As a nurse, the hospital is that comfort zone. When you are in a hospital you have so many medical professionals, other support staff, technology, and equipment around you that it feels good to have other resources that can help you at any moment. However, in home care, you don’t have that. You have to be quick on your feet and have the ability to think ahead because you are not afforded the opportunity to have so many extra resources. In addition, the patient also does not have the hospital atmosphere to keep them accountable for their health care as well. This is why nurses are needed in home care to ensure patients are continuing to follow their healthcare regimen even after they are discharged from the hospital. The goal for the patient is for them to improve or maintain the level that they are at. Nurses within home care, have the extra time to thoroughly explain medications to the patient and why they have to take them, can look at the patient’s home environment and determine if it is safe, can conduct a detailed assessment of the patient, provide any medical care, can see how the patient’s diet is firsthand, and see if the patient has any support at home. Basically, within the home, the nurse is able to get a big picture of everything that plays a part in the patient’s life that could, ultimately, affect their health or their compliance to their medical regimen. Nurses are a big part of the reason why home care services are successful. They are there to push the patient to take their life back and support them every step of the way.
Jasmine is working to become a nurse practitioner.