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Always Advancing: Prioritizing Patients Through Education

NVNA and Hospice RN case manager Caitlin Gabrielle has been with the agency for close to a decade. “I’m always looking to advance myself and my career,” she says, “but staying at the bedside working directly with patients is important to me. Being here has allowed me to do both.”

Coming from a hospital floor background, Caitlin acknowledges that she wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she first shifted over to the home care field; however, she would quickly grow to love it. “When I started out, I remember I was so elated to see a wound heal for the first time ever,” she recalls. “Visiting patients in the home allows you to see their care through to the end and concurrently give them the tools they need to help with preventative care.” She also points out that it isn’t just the critical needs that are met. “Home care is on a continuum. We address physical needs but additionally consider questions such as ‘What are we doing to help their quality of life?’”

One of Caitlin’s proudest achievements came in 2021 when she received her Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing (WOCN) certification through the Gerry Sanderson Education Fund. The certification offers nurses the opportunity to become highly specialized in complex wound care, and in the case of home care, can often help prevent patients from being re-hospitalized.

“Our mandate is to elevate all our caregivers’ skills and our organization remains focused on that goal,” remarked COO Kate Mercier. “Philanthropy is fully funding this work.”

“When this opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to take it,” says Caitlin. “Having this next level education means that we are able to bring wound center quality treatment to patients who cannot leave their homes. Being WOCN-certified puts you in a very unique position to direct care: physicians entrust you to finish what they began, whether it’s healing a wound or caring for an ostomy.”

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