Following Her True Calling

September 30, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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When Elda Abraham was three, she needed her blood drawn. There was only one problem — her veins were hard to find. After multiple failed attempts, and many tears from little Elda, a nurse came over and sat with her. She calmed Elda down and quickly and quietly did what no other nurse had done, drew Elda’s blood.

This moment is what inspired Elda to become a nurse. She described that aha moment when she looked from the nurse to her mom and said, “I want to be just like her when I grow up.”

Today, Elda is an LPN working for Care Options for Kids, and she’s become the kind of nurse that her three-year-old self admired. She recalls one moment involving a three-month-old boy.

“He bonded with me.”

“He was constantly crying and crying. There was one older nurse who was very experienced. And, she said she had him. She was going to take care of him, and he would stop crying. But, nobody could. Until, for whatever reason, he bonded with me. I held him, and even when we were taking blood every day, he would stay quiet.”

Today, that boy is 11. And, his mother still sends Elda pictures of her son and talks about those special moments when Elda did what no other nurse could do.

Elda provides that same quality of care to her current patient. Her patient is nonverbal but can make noises. So, Elda has been working diligently with her to get her on the same level as her peers.

“I’ve been working with my patient for five years now. I’ve been [showing] her flashcards to teach her how to read. When I give her the flashcards and ask her, ‘hey, is this a duck?’ and show her the word with the letters, she picks the right one. I can see developmentally and cognitively that she’s growing. Before, when you showed her stuff, she didn’t know what they were. Now, she’s in second grade and on-level.”

Elda has played a key role in her patient’s healthcare journey. And, she’s considered part of the family by more than just her patient.

“My patient has a little sister who is six. I’ve known her since she was a baby. And the other day, she came up to me and said, ‘I’m going to call you my second mommy because you’re always here with my sister and you always help me. So, I’m going to call you my second mommy.”

Elda smiled, thinking about that moment. “You become family. I’m there four days a week — 12 hours per day. After five years, it’s kinda hard to say this is just my patient’s parents. They’re my family. That’s one of the things I like about home health care.”

Working in home health has provided Elda the opportunity to connect with her patients one-on-one. She can give a child all her attention and really get to know them and see them grow. She also enjoys seeing their progress.

“You can work with a child who has a trach. Then, they eventually grow, and they lose the trach (or graduate from the trach). You get to see all their progress, and you get to be there for those milestones, which I like.”

Care Options for Kids connected Elda with her current patient. And, despite being the only nurse in her patient’s home, she knows that she can count on Care Options for Kids to support her and provide her with everything she needs to do her job.

“Care Options for Kids makes my job easier in a lot of ways. I don’t actually have to go look for a patient. For example, if my patient is out on vacation with her parents or if she’s hospitalized, Care Options for Kids calls me and connects me with another patient to take care of. So basically, my focus is on giving care to my patient because everything else is covered by the office.”