Stories

A Nursing Journey: From Acute Care To One-To-One Home Care

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Working with Advanced Community Care has helped me get back to what real nursing is about – being present and connecting with people. I love what I’m doing.

Margaret O'Regan – Paediatric Nurse

The Power of Personal

Margaret O’Regan qualified as a general and paediatric nurse at age 22, and she began her career working abroad at acute hospitals with paediatric units, in America, Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Settling in the UK, she worked in a children’s ICU, dealing predominantly with oncology, burns and A and E, in a junior manager role. Returning to Ireland, she took up a position at the Cork Bon Secours Hospital, but came to realise that her future did not lie in acute nursing. She found the big patient load, staff shortages and the large amount of administration was not the picture of nursing that she had always envisioned for herself. Margaret also saw the there were many children coming into the Unit who could be treated at home – enjoying a better quality of life. When she saw an advertisement for a paediatric nurse in Cork, Margaret’s journey into community nursing began: she started working for Advanced Community Care for 19 hours a week, eventually moving over from ward nursing completely.

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Margaret found the immediate difference was the highly personalised nature of nursing with us:  it is completely one-to-one and each nurse can focus totally on, and commit to, the needs of their client and their family:

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I am completely present for the child I work with. Dedicated and in control. Whereas on the ward I would be looking after 8 children, often with pre-registered nurses who aren’t at the level to administer drugs. The way I work now is far less stressful, I get to see the difference I am making – and I have access to everything I need – all the equipment is there with me.

The real, day-to-day benefits of a technology-dependent child being nursed at home have become very apparent to Margaret. She is in her fourth year of looking after a young girl with the rare condition, Congenital Hypoventilation:

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When you see the life this child has with her family, as opposed to being in a hospital, it’s world’s apart.  With me as her nurse, she gets to go to school, dancing, gymnastics, birthday parties and family holidays. And the difference this makes to the family is huge.

Another advantage for Margaret is the flexibility offered by Advanced Community Care – with the freedom to work the hours she wants. This has had impact on her own well-being, lifestyle and relationships:

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I appreciate my years of training and all my experience. But this works for me now. Even my husband can see a difference!