It’s 9 o’clock on Wednesday morning, and Registered Nurse Jill Randall is driving to see a client she met at a Jefferson County food pantry the previous week. Armed with a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor and other nursing tools, Jill looks forward to providing quality, holistic care to her client.
These personal home visits have become a regular occurrence for Jill over the past year. In fact, she has visited over 30 clients and their families in 2016. Each visit is unique because of each client’s unique health needs. Although this can be overwhelming at times, she has a determination to meet those needs head on in order to achieve the best outcomes specific to each client.
“As a Faith Community Nurse with Deaconess Nurse Ministry, I am empowered to fulfill a need when I see one. Whether I am an advocate, health service provider, or friend – our holistic approach enables me to extend my abilities to each person where they’re needed most, “Jill says.
Jill’s quality, personalized and holistic approach for each patient has taken many forms over the last ten months. During the summer, Jill was referred to a man that was preparing to be discharged from the ER. He was in poor health and had no financial means to maintain his home or buy adequate food. At the time of her first interaction with the man, Jill was working at Feed my People, a food panty in High Ridge, and they were able to offer assistance. So, Jill loaded a cart full of groceries into her car and began the 30-minute drive to the hospital to meet the man. When she arrived, it was clear that the man was overwhelmed and not feeling well. To make matters worse, his discharge had been delayed because he was waiting for his prescriptions to be filled by the hospital pharmacy. As a Deaconess Faith Nurse, Jill immediately addressed the needs she assessed. She offered to wait at the ER for the prescriptions, so the man could be transported home. Once the prescriptions were ready, Jill took them and the groceries to the client’s apartment. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for the assistance and personalized care.
The next week, Jill made a follow-up appointment, but things took a dramatic turn when she arrived. On the man’s door was an eviction notice, stating he would have to leave the premises by the end of that day. After talking with the man, making several phone calls to the man’s landlord, social services and the man’s estranged son, arrangements were made for him to re-connect with his son and live with his family until more permanent arrangements could be made. The man, who had spent a number of years emotionally distraught and in poor health because of COPD and other conditions, was again overwhelmed, but this time with gratitude and relief. The situation that seemed to once have few options was turned positive because of Jill and DNM’s hard work.
Although most client interactions are less dramatic, every day client needs are identified and DNM works to meet those needs. It could be a client with congestive heart failure that should be weighing daily, but cannot afford a scale – DNM will provide that scale. Or, it could be someone who has high blood pressure but does not have a blood pressure monitor or cannot easily find transportation to a clinic or pharmacy that has a monitor – DNM will provide a monitor and instruction on how to use it. It’s when these basic needs are met that clients become more self-confident and in better control of their health. Deaconess Faith Nurses serve as a resource to discuss concerns or answer questions, which directly impacts the rate of success for their most high-need clients.
These stories paint a picture of the quality of care patients receive when working with Jill. It is the same degree of care that other DNM Faith Nurses provide to their patients as well. There is no specific manual or process that can be followed, and many times nurses extend themselves greatly to serve patients’ personalized needs. But, when people receive the just care they deserve as humans, there is no greater reward for those who are able to provide it. Jill and other DNM Faith Nurses’ works are leading the way for quality health care services for ALL in Greater St. Louis, and we invite you to support our charge.