National Nurses Week and Q&A with Jennifer Chaparro
We Salute our Nurses During National Nurses Week!
May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. At LSA, we have a fantastic team of home visiting nurses who go above and beyond to improve family health. We salute our nurses and thank them for their dedication to serving the community!
Above: LSA’s nurses – Suzanne Deliee, Brigida Lapadula, Susanne Lachapelle, Patricia Hayes and Jennifer Chaparro.
In honor of National Nurses Week, we asked Community Health Nurse Jennifer Chaparro to share some of her thoughts about nursing.
Q&A with Jennifer Chaparro RN, BSN – Community Health Nurse at LSA
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for a community health nurse is anything but typical. In a nutshell, regular tasks that I find myself doing every week include completing routine paperwork, communicating with healthcare providers and insurance companies, and the bulk of my time involves visiting patients in their homes.
What is a typical home visit like?
A community health nurse can never know what to expect when visiting a new patient. Each patient is a unique individual: culturally, emotionally, socially, and physically. This is just as true for their healthcare needs: one person’s health needs differ completely from another’s.
At LSA, we see a wide array of patients. We provide home visits for newly postpartum mothers and their infants. We provide health assessment and monitoring, newborn education and breastfeeding support. In addition, we provide wound care to children and adults, help families manage their child’s asthma medications and symptoms, and help women manage their blood pressure after experiencing severe preeclampsia. We see extremely premature infants requiring cardiac surgeries and older adults who are wheelchair bound and need education in managing their diabetes — and every patient in between!
The ultimate goal of the home visits is to provide health monitoring, education and support to families in order to promote stabilization of their immediate health concerns and foster independence and successful self-management of their long-term healthcare needs.
“It is truly a blessing to be able to tend to these premature babies, helping educate their parents on how to care for them, and easing any fears or anxieties they have regarding the future of their babies.”
How do visiting nurses make a difference in the lives of the people they help?
Visiting nurses provide another means of support, especially for underserved families in our community. People can become lost in the ever-changing, complex healthcare system, whether it be due to a language or cultural barrier, lack of education, or issues with insurance or documentation status. This, in turn, can lead to a mismanagement of their health and an increased incidence of preventable complications, which can further lead to unnecessary hospitalizations. By providing nursing visits in the patient’s home, visiting nurses can help to identify barriers that are preventing a patient from reaching their healthcare goals, while also providing compassionate care and education that is free of bias or prejudice. It is important that patients have the opportunity to learn about what they can do to take better care of their health and that of their families.
How does being a nurse enrich your life?
Being a nurse enriches my life by providing me with new experiences and learning opportunities every single day. With every new patient comes a unique diagnosis or health problem. At times, these health problems can be serious or rare, which requires me to do intense research so that I can be better prepared to provide accurate information for the patients that are affected. These new experiences allow me to expand my knowledge and be well-rounded in my field so that I can help to educate patients who are affected by all kinds of health issues. New information, diagnoses, and treatments are being discovered on a daily basis in the evolving world of healthcare, and it is crucial for nurses to remain up-to-date in order to provide the best education and support for our patients. The learning never stops!
I have so many stories of my interactions with my patients that it’s difficult to just choose one. Personally, I enjoy visiting first-time mothers and their infants. Some of these moms are young teenagers, still children themselves thrust into motherhood at a young age. Helping to educate these teens to transition into motherhood while also watching their beautiful children grow makes me feel so grateful that I am able to share this experience with them. Helping to ease their fears, educating them on newborn health, and watching these teens become supportive young mothers makes me very happy that I can be a part of this process.
I also enjoy my interactions with premature babies. A lot of premature infants have serious medical issues that need to be monitored or complications that need meticulous care. These babies can be born in the hospital weighing a mere one or two pounds and remain hospitalized for weeks, even months. It is truly a blessing to be able to tend to these premature babies, helping educate their parents on how to care for them, and easing any fears or anxieties they have regarding the future of their babies. I especially love seeing them towards the end of care, watching the transformation the babies undergo from weak, fragile infants into bubbly, bouncy, happy babies. Seeing the pleasure and expertise that their parents’ accumulate over the course of several weeks of home visits is just another added bonus to the experience.