My name is Lyn. I am a Registered Nurse by vocation and a computer enthusiast by avocation. My original concept for this website back in about 1996 was to convey computer knowledge and experience I had acquired since 1979 when my ex-husband first introduced me to the Texas Instruments Personal Computer.
During two years of semi-retirement as an RN, I worked extensively in computing, building, maintaining, and teaching computers. I learned a great deal about them and really wanted to share that knowledge. I was President for 2 years of the Century Village Computer Club in Florida where I lived for 12 years (perpetual summers). I expanded my knowledge about computers generally and did a lot of teaching, and really wanted to share that knowledge. My webmaster and best friend had other ideas for me, however! He suggested that my nursing skills and ideas were far more valuable and that I should consider sharing some of those on the web.
So here I still am – about 25 years later – still presenting what I hope will be of more use in aiding patients, their families and friends, as well as nursing professionals, to navigate our American Health Care System more effectively, learn how to help by learning about their diseases and general health issues, and asking questions. After many years of the site being dormant, I am very much enjoying updating it and hope you enjoy using it.
My experience goes back to 1969 when I worked for a Home Health Agency in Clinton, CT for 15 years. Colleagues encouraged me to “go for my RN” and so in 1979 I went to Wilcox College in Middletown, CT. I had been a Home Health Aid working with the Hospice House in Branford when Hospice was founded in this country before going back to school. I continued to work summers for the agency and with private clients. When I graduated with my RN I went back to the same agency and supervised the Home Heath Aides I used to work with side-by-side. I was among the very first nurses in this state to work “after hours” aka “extended hours” for agencies throughout the Valley Shore Region. Our job was to cover patients when the agency office closed at 3 or 4pm. It was a very innovative idea back then in the late 70’s when DRGs first were introduced to medicine. (diagnostic related groups) (DRGs were what changed the country’s medical system from one in which the MD had the final say in patient care, to the other end of the continuum allowing insurance companies to have the final say in patient care!
Later, after I graduated I worked in a State Psychiatric Hospital on a male admission ward (ages 18 – 61) as Assistant Head Nurse on the evening shift. I developed wonderful rapport with my patients and staff and have only fond memories of that first job. Eventually I left and worked in the Department of Children and Family Services in the medical department of a residential school and maximum security unit for adjudicated youth. I worked there until my move to Florida whereupon I went back to Hospice and worked in critical care units, AIDS unit, in the field making emergent home visits, and in the telephone triage unit dispatching nurses, chaplains, social workers, DME (durable medical equipment like oxygen, wheelchairs, and whatever else a patient needed) etc.. and in the CCUs (Critical Care Units) I worked with an unusually large variety of medical problems in patients who were dying, which greatly broadened my expertise as a Visiting Nurse. I worked in psychiatric hospitals for adolescents, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, Home Care Agencies, and several hospitals in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area, broadening my skills more with each new or concurrent per diem job.
From 2003 until 2005, I worked for a Home Health Agency that was like a big family.
Currently I am an ANA certified Faith Community Nurse (FCN) for the Westbrook Congregational Church in Westbrook,CT. My duties are broad and include first and foremost – prayer if the patient or family desires it. I make home assessments, teach general health education, run blood pressure screenings, pre and post surgical assessments, make visits to patients in any setting from home to rehab to hospital to wherever they land. I sometimes give respite care for long term primary care givers. I offer adolescent and well-baby help, transportation to and from medical appointments or even the odd trip to the grocery or pharmacy. I support patients at medical testing if needed. I have been known to help patients manage their medications, assume responsibility for their own care, and teach the death and dying process to patients or their families. My job encompasses many of the same duties as the visiting nurse however the one thing I no longer do is actual hands on care which is not supported by this specialty. I also arrange programs for the church health mission like CPR-AED certification, have written a manual and a job description for the nurse who follows me someday, and run programs myself – for example I am currently teaching a group on Imagery Meditation every third Weds. Last summer I did a “walk by” seminar on how to be prepared for living through a disaster situation such as hurricane, earthquake, tornado and so forth. I taught how to build a 72 kit for them and then raffled it off. Free! 🙂
So, take a tour of the site – I encourage you to write to me to ask questions about anything you find here, would like to find here, or anything you think is inaccurate. And thanks for stopping by….Lyn 🙂