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Joel Provides Continuity for Infusion Patients As Nurse Supervisor

Joel Skog hasn’t always spent so much time thinking about central lines in pediatric patients. As a printer for 14 years in a previous life, he met his wife at the print shop where they worked and eventually, both realized their calling was in the nursing field. Joel began going to school on the evenings and weekends, graduated in 2009, and has worked as a nurse ever since. Today, he has an infusion job as nurse supervisor where he oversees the nurses providing IV therapy for patients.

Right spot, right time

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Joel and the infusion team dress up for the PHS Halloween party

As a home care nurse with another agency, Joel cared for a patient who had a PICC line and received antibiotics from PHS when he discovered infusion nursing might be a new chapter that he was interested in pursuing.

“I had been wanting to try something different and face new challenges, and it was good timing when I jumped on PHS website and saw there was an opening,” remembered Joel. “I remember thinking, what a great job – I can take care of so many children at home and be exposed to a new set of skills.”

Joel was hired as a PHS infusion nurse in 2011, is certified in infusion therapy, and this year was promoted to infusion nurse supervisor.

Keeping wheels in motion

After four years of providing care to infusion patients in their homes, Joel’s new role means less direct care, but new opportunities to facilitate the care other infusion nurses provide.

“Now, I get to help all the nurses on our team take care of kids – I really enjoy being in a role where I keep all of the moving parts in the department in order and operating smoothly,” said Joel.


Joel and a co-worker catch up at a PHS event

As a supervisor, Joel brings a continuity of care to infusion patients by doing everything he can to ensure one nurse consistently sees the same patient. As the stress of a patient and their family decreases with increased confidence in the nurse providing their infusion therapy, the needle pokes and medicine become a little less scary – which is why he has a great passion for being able to coordinate the team of nurses to respond to everyday unplanned needs while also maintaining established patient relationships.

“When a nurse comes in and knows all of their nuances and the details of their care and visits the patient appointment after appointment, there is a certain level of trust gained – and that is crucially important to our team,” he added.

Joel remembers hearing that one of his patients had been asking his mom daily if Joel would be coming to do an infusion that day so they could play monster trucks – a true success story from a patient who had been extremely anxious about his port being accessed in the past and now looked forward to “poke day.”

Confidence in care

Joel taking a break from his infusion job

Joel dresses up (again!) for the annual summer picnic

Over the years, some of Joel’s favorite moments have been teaching parents how to care for their child at home.

“It can be overwhelming knowing that your child is going home with a central line and that as a parent, you will be responsible for giving the medications that go into that line,” mentioned Joel. “We try our best to make sure that parents and caregivers are comfortable with the therapy they are providing, and as always, a PHS RN is available to them 24/7.”

With an infusion therapy team dedicated to providing the safest and most comprehensive care at home, Joel has seen the difference it makes for a child to be able to live a normal, active lifestyle alongside their family. As long as infusion therapies can be done safely and effectively at home, PHS will provide them – so kids can be kids, and families can be families.

Originally published: July 14, 2015

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