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Infusion Care Comes Home With IV Nurse Lynn

When Lynn enters a patient’s home, you can see the impact she has on a family right away – the kiddos are excited to spend time with her, and the parents are relieved to have someone as knowledgeable and personable as her administering infusion therapy in the comfort of their home.

After more than 30 years as a nurse, Lynn knows how to make infusions not only bearable, but enjoyable – so much so, in fact, that she has a patient who calls her his best friend and has invited her to his birthday parties. She finds a lot of meaning in being able to bring infusion therapy home, eliminating an all-day trip to the clinic for the same care while decreasing unnecessary travel and exposure to illness.

“It’s pretty cool what we do, really – I didn’t know it existed before I worked at PHS,” mentioned Lynn. “Some of these homes are mini-ICUs. Providing infusion therapy at home makes complete sense for these kiddos.”

Experience across settings

When Lynn chose to pursue a career in nursing, she naturally gravitated toward pediatrics due to her time spent babysitting and caring for younger siblings growing up as one of seven children in her family. Once she became an RN, she spent 20 years in the hospital setting, specifically the pediatric and PICU units, where she would regularly start patients IVs.

Lynn serves up ice cream at PHS during national nurses week

Lynn serves up ice cream at PHS during national nurses week

“I was really good at it,” Lynn remembered.

When Lynn began to look at other nursing opportunities, she landed in the clinic setting for a short period of time before her daughter saw a job posting for an infusion nurse at PHS in 2008 – she has been with the company ever since. And although training has evolved over the last seven years (now comprised of complex learning blocks and competency assessments in addition to the clinical shadowing that was the main focus of Lynn’s training), the mission of the work she does still stands true – kids belong at home.

Making all the difference

By being able to provide this therapy at home, Lynn hopes to have a positive impact on the patient who is able to bond with their nurse and look forward to visits, making it an enjoyable experience instead of a dreaded one.

Lynn visits a patient for lab draws

Lynn visits a patient for lab draws

“It’s so gratifying to see that the medical experience isn’t as scary, and might even be a fun part of their life, when they’re able to receive it in the comfort of home,” said Lynn. “You have a routine of where they sit, and what they do,” says Lynn. “The nurse almost becomes a member of the family – it’s just an everyday occurrence. It’s a relief for the parent, and for the child too.”

Additionally, thanks to the care plan PHS has in place that assigns one primary infusion nurse to each patient, clinicians like Lynn can communicate with the rest of that patient’s care team – PHS or  other health care professionals in the community – ensuring comprehensive support for the patient’s needs.

Hitting the path

Lynn, left, attends a work event with infusion co-worker Mary

Lynn, left, attends a work event with infusion co-worker Mary

When Lynn isn’t calming fears and making infusions fun, you can usually find her outside doing any number of active hobbies – hiking, biking, kayaking.

“I’ve done some big hikes,” mentioned Lynn. “I hiked Kilimanjaro with my daughter. Everyone asks how you train for it, but it’s pretty simple – you make sure your legs are strong. And hope you handle the elevation changes well.”

With a hike along the Machu Pichu trail under her belt as well, it’s just a matter of time until we hear about Lynn’s next big adventure.

Originally published: October 1, 2015