It’s like a family.
February 28, 2019
That’s how Janice Christensen feels about her job as a registered nurse for Huron Regional Medical Center Community Hospice. “We laugh together, we cry together,” said Janice, who has been with HRMC for over a decade. “We simply care about each other.”
Each day is the chance to work alongside coworkers she enjoys, and an opportunity to form relationships with patients who face overwhelming challenges. It was patient care that brought her back to nursing work after 25 years with the Department of Health and 12 years at Dakota Wesleyan University as a nursing instructor. “When you’re providing in-home care and something clicks for a patient, it’s the most rewarding,” she said.
HRMC has become an integral part of the community, Janice noted, and the community has invested in the hospital—through the Huron Regional Medical Center Foundation—in return. Living in Huron has given her the opportunity to become a better nurse because of the relationships she has developed and maintained, and the continued support she’s received. “The connections we have allow for a more personal approach to care,” she said. “We take pride in how care is delivered.”
Pouring into the lives of patients has been a calling for years. “I love what I do and HRMC allows me to do it,” she shared. “I enjoy the feeling of comfort I have when I work with our patients. They allow me to be that individual nurse that is right for this area of nursing.”
Patient care is what brought her back to nursing, something she missed when she was teaching. Hospice care still provides plenty of teaching opportunities, she added, mainly helping caregivers provide the best possible care for the patient at the end of their life and giving patients the tools to care for themselves if they are able. “We give them dignity in the last days and weeks of their life,” she said. “We allow their wish to remain in their home with their family to come true.”
It’s not without emotion, Janice noted. “We laugh, we cry, we hug. We form a bond in a very short time.”
That’s because she goes out of her way to make meaningful connections with not only the people she provides care to, but their families as well. “I want to know who you were before I came into your life,” she expressed. “If I get to know the family better, I get to know the patient better. I can’t change that they will pass, but what I can change is how we get there.”
Janice said she is grateful to live in a community that values quality health care and to work for an organization that provides it. “Being part of the HRMC family has allowed me to be a part of the larger Huron community,” she explained, a place where she is close to her grandchildren, feels safe and has an active lifestyle. “I try to do my best at HRMC and put my best foot forward because that’s what it means to be a member of a family—and this community.”
Work is a place she wants to be.
“I not only enjoy time with my patients and families, but also time with my coworkers and fellow employees,” she said. “It makes my job a very important part of my life.”
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