Christina Olcott – RN, Jailyn Crepeault – student, Morgan Chase – Student, and Hayley Lowell – RN
For three weeks in January, two students joined Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice (CHHC) as interns through Lyndon Institute’s January Term program. By shadowing nursing staff, Freshman Morgan Chase and Senior Jailyn Crepeault explored their interest in nursing, and learned what it means to be a home health nurse.
Jailyn Crepeault worked with Christina Olcott, RN in the Maternal Child Health Program. Maternal Child Health nurses provide support, education, and assessment to pregnant women, new mothers, and babies.
Morgan Chase observed home care and hospice visits with Hayley Lowell, RN. Home care visits help people remain safe at home, and as independent and active as possible. The hospice team provides physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial support to patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.
“My J-Term experience with Hayley has helped me to know that I want to be a nurse,” stated Morgan. “I think being a nurse in home health is different than in other places, as I feel you get to know the patients more. I’ve enjoyed being able to see older people, learn their backstory, and really build a relationship with them.”
Morgan continued, “Working with the hospice patients can be sad, but is also rewarding when we were able to help make them comfortable. Patients loved to see us and sometimes didn’t want us to leave.”
Hosting students like Morgan and Jailyn doesn’t just provide benefits to the students. The nurses also get a lot out of the program.
“Morgan’s excitement, motivation, readiness to learn, and helpfulness was a bright spot of my day, especially during these times,” said Hayley Lowell, RN. “Typically, we are out in the homes alone. Morgan asked really good questions, and brought a different perspective, which helped me to see my work through fresh eyes. I’d love to work with her again in the future.”
Experiential learning opportunities are an important aspect of work-force development in health care.
“Local students are our future,” explained Treny Burgess, Director of CHHC. “Seeing the impact our nurses have on patients, can often be the spark they need to pursue their own nursing career. Through our work with local students, we hope to show them the unique opportunities available through home health care within our own community, and to help show them the path to get here.”
The team at Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice is proud to work with students, offering opportunities through other area high schools, or clinical programs like Vermont Technical College.