My Search for Nursing Care Showed Me What I Can Do
A little while ago, I went from using one nursing agency to using three. The change allowed me to find enough nurses to sustain the care I need with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and it taught me an important lesson about when to ask for help when I need it.
I’ve also been forced to look for nurses myself for the first time this year, instead of just relying on a nursing agency to find one for me. It was very empowering for me to do something I hadn’t done before.
Being able to do this work was like being able to focus on little bright lights against the darkness. The more I felt like I could accomplish, the bigger they got. The darkness became less overwhelming. It’s like this with a lot of things. Before we know it, we can see our way through whatever situation we are in.
I’ve always been a plan-oriented person, but finding my own nurses seemed like Mission: Nearly-Impossible to me at first. Still, I knew that if someone expressed interest in the job ad I wrote, I could respond to them immediately and not have to wait for the agency to respond. Agencies juggle a lot of cases, and it might take time for someone at one to get back to a potential candidate.
I came away with two nurses from my recruiting efforts earlier this year. Then six weeks ago, my night nurse of nine years moved to Florida and one of my new hires was kind enough to pick up the newly open shifts. Now I get to say, “Look what I accomplished!” By God’s grace and my searching abilities, my night shift got covered, and one of those small lights of hope grew somewhat larger.
After four months of not having to search, I’m going to have to begin searching for nurses again. As generous and kind as they are, I know that the nurses I have are still overwhelmed from working too many extra shifts. So I’m soon off on another adventure to add two more staff members.
I think my experience shows me that when agencies combine their talents with the largely untapped recruiting power of patients and families, it can only make the home care industry better. Having to do this has shown me that I can assist the nursing agency in getting nursing care for myself. That makes it a team effort, and it helps me know that I can work on my own behalf to find the help I need.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.