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Above & Beyond

NURSING ASSISTANCE • knowledge and comfort




Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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the enhanced support available to patients through nursing assistance services such as my concierge nurses provides an increased level of both knowledge and comfort with the process



HEALTHCARE has become an intricate mammoth. Complex health problems, like cardiovascular diseases or cancer, involve a string of health professionals-internists, specialists, surgeons, radiologists, physician assistances, registered nurses, physical therapists, counselors, and respite caregivers that makes government bureaucracy look like a straight-forward operation. Throw in primary and secondary insurance companies, Medicare, or Medicaid, and one muddies the waters further. It’s enough to give the most capable person a migraine. Yet when someone has just been told they require open heart surgery or have cancer, they’re reeling from a life-altering diagnosis. They cannot be expected to hear everything the doctor is advising or to know how to coordinate care to ensure optimum results.

PAULA HOWARD, RN, BSN, MS, understands this. “You say the word ‘cancer’ and look at peoples’ faces, the screen comes down. You can see them checking out,” she has observed in her over 40 years of healthcare experience. It is the reason she founded MY CONCIERGE NURSES (MCN) in January. Howard knows both professionally and personally the importance of having a patient advocate and guide during times of health crisis. She developed MCN, a team of 28 Registered Nurses, to help people navigate the healthcare maze.

MCN “helps people navigate the complicated healthcare system in order to achieve individual well-being goals: maintain independence, achieve optimal health and wellness, and enhance quality of life, even at the end of life,” says Howard.

She adds that there isn’t a set demographic for MCN clients. Some are elderly individuals who wish to continue living independently in their own homes. MCN formulates a plan to achieve this goal, including a safety check of their homes, an evaluation of diet and nutrition, and coordination of medical services. One such client is a 102-YEAR-OLD GENTLEMAN who enjoys good health but likes the reassurance of having a professional available if he awakens in the middle of the night and needs help. In this instance, MCN functions in a preventative capacity, keeping a client out of the hospital or nursing facility.

Other clients require services due to specific medical conditions. A 34-YEAR-OLD FRIEND of Howard was suffering from abdominal pain. She coordinated care for him, initiating doctor appointments and overseeing treatment. For clients who are recovering from a surgery, MCN facilitates their care and rehabilitation. Nurses know what questions to ask during appointments, and they know exactly what the responses mean. Having an additional set of eyes and ears available benefits the client.

Clients are paired with a RN who will serve as a “point person” in the client’s health care plan. All plans are what Howard calls “patient-driven.” MCN “always wants the client to feel empowered. We offer information to the client; they make their own decisions,” she asserts. MCN works with clients’ families and attorneys so that when a client is mentally or physically unable to make their own decisions regarding their care, a responsible party can.

Nurses do not provide hands-on care but rather use their critical thinking skills and expertise in an advisory capacity. To prevent gaps in healthcare, Registered Nurses will attend doctor appointments. They will listen and take notes and then offer recommendations and referrals based on the information gathered. They also provide three SECOND OPINION OPTIONS from which clients can choose. Again, this goes back to client empowerment; the more options a client has, the more control he has of his own healthcare, maintains Howard.

“They are at the helm of their [healthcare] ship.”

For more information, visit www.myconciergenurses.com or call 402.449.1800.

-end- metroMAGAZINE




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