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The Many Faces of Home Health

Updated: Mar 15

Throughout our healthcare career, we cross paths with so many different lives. There's such a diverse collection of culture, and socioeconomic status, not to mention age and gender. In the field of home health, there was always the opportunity to advocate for those we cared for. The Martinez case was very special, but then again, every case was special...

A photo of a beautiful little Hispanic girl.
Little Maria

What made the Martinez case so special was that it was a package deal. I was not just obliged to care for the patient but for his whole family as well. The family is always a part of patient care, but usually, that means the spouse, another close family member, or maybe a close friend. This case was different.

In this case, there was no spouse or adult family member to help. Not even a friend. The referral was for Juan Martinez Sr., a very handsome Hispanic gentleman in his mid-forties with a full mustache and a big ol' cowboy hat. Mr. Martinez had his own business, a food delivery truck, and he must have barely scraped by because the family didn't have much. Recent events had only made this worse as now he was unable to work at all. The Martinez family lived in a tiny, unassuming two-bedroom home in a poor neighborhood. Juan Sr. had just been discharged home from the hospital after a leg amputation. He required dressing changes and careful monitoring of the incision because he was diabetic. The orders also included diabetic teaching. This was challenging because Juan Sr. spoke no English. The children had just lost their mother the year before from diabetes as well. So, there was Juan Sr., a widower with his three children alone in that tiny home. Along with their papa, there was Juan Jr., age fifteen; Rosa, age eleven; and little Maria, age four. The children attended public school, so they spoke good English. I asked Juan Jr. to help. That was a lot of responsibility for a fifteen-year-old. Juan Jr. was a quiet boy, incredibly polite, and despite his hesitance at first, he proved to be extremely helpful to his papa.

The kids each did the best they could, but the family struggled. There is a mutual respect that often blossoms from caring for a family in need. I learned from this family, that sometimes those with the least to give, give the most.

What made this case so incredibly unforgettable was not just the courage that the Martinez children showed, but also the love they shared for their father, each other - and even me!

One day, when I pulled up to the Martinez home, little Maria came bursting out the front door and ran down the porch shouting, "The nurse is here! The nurse is here!"

I loved my job.

To read this story in its entirety, check out:

(There's much more - turkeys, tamales, and a lotta broken Spanish...)

Note: Revisiting this story is bittersweet for me because it reminds me so well how I really did love my job! On January 31, 2024, my RN license will expire. The last several times, I renewed it although I haven’t practiced since 2016. I left bedside nursing in 2014 - ten years ago! When I wrote the book, I had hoped it would give me closure. I thought it would be a good way to say goodbye to the career I loved so much. I even titled a chapter “The Final Days.” But for whatever reason, it’s just so hard to let go. This time however, I will say the final goodbye.

Published by Jennifer Tipton / This post may contain affiliate links.


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I have had the privilege of seeing you in action both as a colleague and a patient. Your passion for this calling has touch countless lives and inspired many. For this , I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I know your legacy will continue through your writing. New stories are just beginning...

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Thank you for the post. Great story

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