For One Special Patient, an Extended Family

June 30, 2022
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Since starting her career in home health care, ​​Mariveliz, an LPN, knew she had found the right path for her. She liked the pace, the routine, and especially the ability to truly connect with her patients and their families. “Home care is better because you have one person. In a hospital, there are so many patients with many conditions. Home care and working with kids is so much better for me.”

For ​​Mariveliz, being able to focus completely on one person at a time allows her to provide the care they deserve. One of her patients is M.A, a young girl with hydrocephalus. This is a condition where fluid builds up in the brain, causing a number of challenging symptoms that can include seizures, headaches, and impaired mobility. Many families dealing with this diagnosis choose pediatric home health services to balance busy schedules and ensure their little one gets the attention they need.

Watching Her Patient Grow and Thrive

Thanks to treatment that includes regular medication and physical therapy, M.A is able to enjoy a much-improved quality of life. ​​Mariveliz’s caring attention day-in and day-out plays a big role in that. “First when I get here in the morning I give her her medicine. Second, I give her a bath, and get her dressed. We always do our exercises, and after that she usually takes a nap.” As a caregiver, ​​Mariveliz does what M.A needs, from getting her ready for activities, to going to appointments, to being there when she sees the physical therapist. Through this, they’ve developed a really tight bond.

“She’s always happy when you touch her, and when you look at her, she smiles. I love her. She is part of my family.” And like a family member, ​​Mariveliz has really cherished watching M.A grow and thrive. “When I started, she was just a little baby and now I see she has grown and is doing so much better.”

Journeying to a New Home

Originally from Puerto Rico, ​​Mariveliz worked in nursing homes and hospitals for three years before joining Care Options for Kids, her first job in the United States. “I put in my application. They called me for an interview, and I said I have experience from the years in the nursing home and the hospital in the pediatric station.” After completing her US nursing license and her online training with Care Options for Kids, she’s found home health to be a perfect fit so far. “I really appreciate it. The opportunity to work here has been a great experience for me.”

In addition to loving the ability to work closely with patients in a home setting, she stresses how much support she receives from the Care Options for Kids team. “When I need something, I can just call my coordinator. They answer my questions and help me with what I need.” It’s been such a great experience that she hasn’t hesitated to refer other nurses she knows who are a good fit. “I recommend the company for my friends or somebody who needs a job. If they’re a nurse I can recommend Care Options for Kids homecare.”

​​Mariveliz loves the work and support, but is also glad to have a wide range of benefits. “Care Options for Kids offers 401K, medical insurance, and PTO days.” As a medical professional, the extra care and attention she saw during the pandemic made a positive impression as well. “Always with COVID we took every precaution, including washing our hands, wearing a mask. I never had COVID, but if you are feeling symptoms, you just call and say ‘I have a fever. I have a cold.’”

Choosing to Grow Your Family

Finding out your child has a serious condition such as hydrocephalus can be scary, and often means making important decisions with limited time and information. For M.A’s mother, choosing home care was a difficult choice at first, but it paid off quickly. “I was offered home care through M.A’s primary doctor, and I was very skeptical about it. I didn’t necessarily want somebody at my house. But I decided to try it out to see if it would work for us.”

After a very short time, she realized she had made the right call. “It actually went great and we’ve been with Care Options for Kids ever since.” Reflecting ​​Mariveliz’s words, the feeling of family soon became a two-way street. The nurses become part of the family. You know, we get very close and attached to them. And thankfully we’ve had our nurse with us for a very long time.”

Even though you are inviting a new person into your house and family, she would urge anyone considering home health services to try it. “Go for it — try it” she says. “They always work with you ‘til you find the right person.”

It takes a special type of dedication to repay the trust these families have. As M.A’s mom puts it, This person is there with your child every single day to help me with everything. I can go to work, confident knowing that she’ll be okay with her nurse. That there’s not a problem at home and if there is she’ll call me right away and I’ll be here. So it’s been great.”