A behind-the-scenes look at our home support team and how they support clients in the community.
In celebration of Nursing Week, nurses from across Vancouver Coastal Health are taking us along for their shift — giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the important work they do, alongside their interdisciplinary teams, to care for our patients, clients and residents.
Jaspreet Gill is a licensed practical nurse (LPN) supervisor in home support at Richmond's brand new Community Health Access Centre (CHAC). She recently took us along for one of her shifts — documenting her day to give us a behind-the-scenes look at her role supporting community health workers (CHWs). Here's what she shared:
One small thought in the morning can change your whole day. Every morning after the hustle and bustle of motherhood, I start off my day with a 45-minute drive into Richmond. While listening to the random conversations on the radio and the different genres of music, I'm think about how grateful I am for the experiences headed my way and all the new faces I will get to meet through my work.
No morning is complete without coffee, smiles and our morning huddle. We meet every morning to discuss any pending concerns and obstacles and work toward strategizing and planning our work day. This can include scheduling initial visits with new clients, arranging training and education about personal protective equipment (PPE), conducting clinical tasks, assessing medications and supporting overall collaborative care planning.
Two heads are better than one! Throughout our day, we come across a variety of challenges and are required to collaborate with other clinicians such as the case managers, social workers, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, nurses, the palliative care team, liaison workers and many more. Together, we communicate, brainstorm and delegate tasks as needed. Our teams in home support and home health are very knowledgeable and experienced, and are always willing to lend a hand where needed.
Ensuring our clients are safe and sound in their homes is of utmost importance. For example, if a client is scheduled for a visit but not answering, we will connect with the hospital and families to check on their well-being. Our primary focus is to build trust and rapport. During COVID-19, this touch base with our clients has become increasingly important as many of them are isolated from family and friends. That human touch is so essential.
Our frontline staff, the community health workers (CHWs), are the heart and soul of our team. Their endless dedication to assist and care for our clients is admirable, which is why as supervisors, we need to ensure they're well supported. This includes providing necessary education, which in today's COVID-19 landscape is delivered virtually using Zoom for staff in field, as well as providing general guidance and support day in and day out. From dropping off PPE supplies to the CHWs out in the field to providing emotional support after a tough day at work, it's important to me as a supervisor that the CHWs know I'm here for them.
On my drive home I can't help but think of how important communication and humanity are to our new reality during COVID-19. Questions will run through my mind: Did I provide the best care and support possible to my clients and CHWs? What can I do better? Where can we improve as team? What's for dinner?!
Be sure to follow our Nursing Week campaign on VCH News and on our social media channels as we profile new nurses across the regions every week during the month of May!