Ministry: Home Health Nurse, Scranton Commonwealth Regional Hospital in Pennsylvania
Sister Jeanne Karp visits George Gillette at his home in Convington Township, Pa. Sister Jeanne has been George’s home nurse for three years.
“My GPS is my best friend,” says Sister Jeanne Karp who often travels more than 100 miles a day to visit patients in northeastern Pennsylvania as both a home health nurse and a home infusion nurse specialist. “I enjoy the work that I do and the one-to-one interaction with patients and being able to educate them and fulfill a need,” says Sister Jeanne.
As a home health nurse, Sister Jeanne works for the Scranton Commonwealth Regional Hospital in Pennsylvania. “Once patients are released from the hospital, I visit them in their homes and implement the doctor’s orders and document the care I give at the time of the visit.” Sister Jeanne is also a nurse with Express Script, a national home infusion company. On these visits, Sister Jeanne starts IVs and specialty medications in the homes for those who have chronic or life threatening conditions.
In any given day Sister Jeanne may see from one to six patients. She explains that some of her patients are born with an immunodeficiency and their bodies can’t combat diseases. Several of these patients receiving treatment are children. Depending on the quantity of the infusion prescribed, one visit may last as long as six hours while she administers the medicine, monitors for any reaction and records the visit.
Sister Jeanne says she ministers to patients and their families with respect. “Patients I treat every week become like family,” Sister Jeanne explains. “They can’t wait to share their stories and tell me what is happening in their lives. Others are so sick they have no contact outside of their immediate family while some don’t even have that. I become their only contact.”
And do her patients know she is a Catholic sister? Sister Jeanne emphatically responds, “Absolutely, they know that I am a sister, especially those I see in my home health capacity. When they know a sister is coming they are so excited. They often ask for prayers.”
Sister Jeanne has been in the medical profession for 50 years and served for 20 of those years as a surgical nurse. “I’ve seen a lot of changes and advances in medicine which are phenomenal.” Yet with all the advances in the health care field, she says “I think people need to pray for health care workers who are often understaffed and overworked and who deal with many personalities in a day.”