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There’s No Place Like Home: Jefferson Health Home Care and Hospice

As a mother and healthcare professional of more than 25 years, Patricia McNamara, RN, knows just how important it is to have a happy, healthy home.

McNamara has always had the intrinsic drive to help people when she could. But her journey into healthcare was no stroll down the yellow brick road. As a teenager, McNamara witnessed her sister-in-law have a seizure while eight months pregnant.

“I felt helpless because I didn’t know what to do for her,” McNamara recalls. “That’s when I knew I wanted to get into nursing—to be able to help people.”

McNamara has always considered herself a “natural caregiver,” so the decision to go to nursing school was the logical next step. She completed her nursing degree at Gloucester County College and went on to work as a postpartum and Medical-Surgical nurse at Kennedy Health, now Jefferson Health — New Jersey, for the next eight years.

After her oldest son began middle school, McNamara began looking to strike a greater work-life balance. What could she do that would allow her to make her own schedule, spend more time with her children, and allow her to continue her work as a caregiver?

The answer was simple: The switch to home care was an easy choice.

Jefferson Health Home Care and Hospice is dedicated to providing a wide array of services to patients. The Home Care department is not only committed to getting our patients healthy again, it also strives to provide individualized treatment plans for patients and teach their families—under the guidance of our trained nurses and therapists—how to properly care for the patient’s physical and emotional needs as well as improve their overall quality of life.

“It’s not easy!” McNamara laughs as she details the sometimes-hectic routine of a home care nurse. Her early mornings are spent answering messages and preparing appointments. She’ll then see up to six patients a day, and her nights are spent updating patient data. And then there’s always the unpredictability factor.

“Depending on what I walk into, you never know,” McNamara says. “Someone could be really sick, or I’ll have to call the doctor or the ambulance or a family member.” The list of variables goes on.

There is an intimacy between patient and home care nurse that doesn’t explicitly exist within the confines of a hospital. For months—sometimes years—our nurses are welcomed into the patient’s home and they become a part of their daily routine, blurring the line between physician and friend.

“I know that I’m making a difference in someone’s life,” McNamara says, smiling. “There’s no better feeling than that.”