Recuperative Care Manager, Room In The Inn
It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since I began my journey home. Being a nurse in Nashville for over 30 years has led me down many roads, ending right here on Drexel Street. Those other paths almost prepared me for the most challenging position I have had.
Even my past work experience did not prepare me to daily face this very ill population who lack adequate funding and access to health care. Just this year we have sheltered and cared for those who have had open heart surgery, brain surgery, lung surgery, surgery for cancer, surgeries for multiple orthopedic injuries, gynecological surgery, chemotherapy, severe COPD, post stroke, amputations, uncontrolled diabetes, kidney failure, dialysis patients, liver failure, severe rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, major depression, schizophrenia, major phobias, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety disorders, burn patients, and HIV/AIDS patients. The lack of funding and limited access to care continues to shock me and break my heart.
To add to these burdens approximately 90 percent of those entrusted to our care have drug and alcohol addiction with the complicating social factors of disconnections from family and friends, incarcerations, and criminal records.
Anyone remotely involved in the world of healthcare knows how fragmented our system is. To hobble together and care for not “these people” but “my people” is like working on a big puzzle; I’m trying every day to put the pieces together.
I am ably assisted by my recuperative care coordinator, Charlotte West. She guides me and keeps me sane
Last of all, the care provided for our friends and neighbors has been a gift from our wonderful partners, which include United Neighborhood Health's Downtown Clinic, Metro General Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HCA Hospitals: Centennial, Skyline, Southern Hills & Summit, St. Thomas West and Midtown, MTMHI, Nashville Cares, and Comprehensive Care Center.
It is my privilege to serve.