At each home she visits, licensed practical nurse Jennifer Roesti always takes time to ask her patients how they’re doing.

This simple act reflects her dedication to helping others and building relationships. She believes that sometimes, all a patient needs is someone to listen.

“Last week, I had a patient tell me that she always looks forward to my visit because I sit and listen, and that’s what makes her feel the best,’” she says.

Although Jennifer is part of the home health team at the Good Samarian Society – Hays, she works out of a branch office in Ellsworth, Kansas.

When she’s not providing care as a home health nurse, she’s in the office working as an intake coordinator. While processing paper she provides another kind of care, connecting patients with vital resources. When Jennifer knows a patient has a limited income, she’ll reach out to organizations like the local food bank.

“I try to figure out what each person’s needs are because that looks different for everyone,” she says.

Between visiting homes and her office duties, Jennifer also helps out at the Good Samaritan Society’s long-term care facility in Ellsworth.

“I still have some of the same patients as when I started in home health, so it’s been fun to see how I’ve grown as a nurse and built that relationship with them,” she says. “And then if they need more care and go to the nursing home, I can still see them there as well.”

Focusing on connection

Although relationships are key to providing any type of care, they play an especially important role in a home health setting.

“It’s having that personal connection, not just with patients, but with their families as well because they have to be comfortable with having someone come into their parent’s home, so you need to build that trust with families too,” she says.

Home health care not only allows patients to continue living at home for longer, but it also prevents families from experiencing caregiver burnout and provides another layer of support.

“Outside of the passion I have for it, I enjoy seeing the quality of life that you can continue to provide for patients in their home,” Jennifer says.

Celebrating others

Jennifer first witnessed the impact of home health when her grandparents started to receive care at home with the goal of living independently for as long as possible.

“Being able to build that relationship with them and over the years watch the care that they received – I knew that I already had a heart for nursing,” she says.

To pursue her own career, Jennifer first became an aide at the Good Samaritan Society before earning her licensed practical nurse certification.

“Then after nursing school, I wanted to stay where I already was because I absolutely loved home health,” she says.

Jennifer has now worked at the Good Samaritan Society – Hays for nine years. As part of a close-knit team, she likes to frequently celebrate her coworkers and the positive impact they have in the lives of others.

“I love to watch people succeed, so there’s a lot of compliments I give out to my staff,” she says. “I like to let them know they did an awesome job. And I think that helps to lead our team.”

The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This designation honors the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing, and recognizes the vital role of nurses around the world. At Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society, we honor our nurses’ unique calling, compassion and commitment to patient and resident care.