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Home Healthcare Nurse
Clementon, NJ
Headshot of Carman Powell

I love nursing because I go into my patient’s home and I’m able to help their parents have some relief. They feel sometimes that they’re completely overwhelmed with the circumstances that they’re in, and I’m able to come in, so they’re able to go out.

My inspiration

One of the primary reasons why I became a nurse was my big sister. She was a nurse for years and years, and she encouraged both me and my sister—twin sister was also a nurse—that nursing would be a good option for us.

Video still of Carman Powell in front of hospital bed

The daily duties of a Home Healthcare Nurse

Carmen, BSN, RN, CLC, RNC- MNN, tells us why she would never choose to be anything other than a Home Healthcare Nurse.

I serve as a Home Healthcare Nurse. I do the private duty, where you stay a whole shift.

I usually do 10 hours to 12 hours, and do all of the patient care. You’ll take care of all their physical needs while you’re there during the shift, monitor them. Generally, you are the primary caregiver and so that entails a lot of, depending on the patient, a lot of complicated regimens, that you have to follow.

What a typical work shift is like for me

I walk in, do my patient assessment. Make sure the vital signs are good. Make sure they’re breathing and usually get report from either the nurse who is leaving or the parent. I’ll go do my assessments, see what med orders or if there any change in orders, and go ahead and start their A.M. care. If they're eating, usually give them breakfast and then let them hang out, maybe give them some range of motion.

And all throughout the day, just monitoring their vital signs, things like that. Making sure they're not having anything weird going on. A lot of them have G-tubes. Some of them have trachs. You’ll do all kinds of care with anything that they need.

And then as the shift wraps up, we’re going ahead, we’re giving report to oncoming nurse or if that’s the parent that’s relieving us. If an emergency happens, we take care of that too.

My advice for someone starting out
You have learned all that you could in nursing school. Now you're doing the real nuts and bolts of it. You’re actually touching patients and you’re giving stuff. Take your time. Do not rush. If you don’t know something, ask questions. That is what preceptors are for.

My innovation story

I had a teenage cerebral palsy patient. She’s in distress. She’s having a hard time breathing. She’s sweating. She’s panting. And I said, “She doesn’t look right.” I just knew she didn’t look right. And I said, “I think we’re going to be calling the ER.” But I went and I assessed her, gave her some things that we had on hand to be able handle respiratory emergencies. She starts turning blue. Got the bag. So, I had to bag her a couple of times, she actually wound up coming out with pneumonia on both sides of her lungs actually. She turned out to be okay, but it was an exciting morning.
How I balance work and life
I have to do a lot of meditation. I do a lot of massage therapy, and I do a lot of walks in the park. I like nature a lot so I do a lot of those kinds of things. Those help me a lot.”
Don’t try to be somebody else. Be authentically you, and you will be a good nurse. There is nothing else that you have to be.
More inspiration
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    Nurse Economist
    Home Health Care ManagerVisiting Nurse and Hospice for New Hampshire and Vermont (VNH) Dartmouth Hitchcock Health
    Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Valley Children's Healthcare
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