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Fedelta Employee Spotlight: Juanita Chairez

in-home nursing care

At Fedelta Home Care, we hold strong to our mission that there is no “one size fits all” solution to home care, and our staff of nursing care specialists is the reason our approach to care is so customizable. Our employees are our backbone—they’re the people working directly with our clients and their families. They’re the ones to offer a smile in times of joy and a potential solution in times of strife. No one understands home care more intimately than our wonderful nursing care staff.

Today we are proud to feature one of our hardworking nursing care staff members, Juanita Chairez, who is our Acute Nursing Services Manager. As the lead for nursing care managers, Juanita is familiar with the management side of home care as well as the day-to-day, on-the-ground operations. We are delighted to share more about her unique perspective on the benefits of in-home care and showcase some of the great work she and other Fedelta employees do for us. Thanks, Juanita!

Can you share a little about your background and what led you to work in the home care field?

I originally started with my LPN license in which I worked at a skilled nursing facility working mainly on the short-term rehab side. The bulk of the patients I cared for were post-surgery, many of which were healing from CABG, knee and back procedures. I was lucky to be exposed to and learn wound vacs, tracheotomy and a variety of other procedures that further advanced my skillset. 

I truly value the work of home care and rehabilitation staff, and found my empathy, compassion and drive to help became bountiful as I continued to evolve in the rehabilitation setting. I was blessed to work alongside incredibly talented physicians, where together we developed treatment plans to help our patients heal and thrive post-surgery. I was also exposed to the administrative side of home care and learned to execute orders over the phone, update treatment plans and keep an open dialogue between myself and the family members of the patient. I was often tasked as the main staff member to administrate admission and discharge paperwork, which helped keep me well-rounded and in tune with all aspects of treatment. 

In contrast, but still relevant, I also worked in the ER department where I cared for critical patients, including the collection of X-rays and blood work, as well as working with the onsite physician to determine the best action plan of treatment for the patient. 

My experience also includes working at a jail and methadone clinic, which I believe further advanced my empathy and compassion in the nursing field. I was getting ready to move from California to Washington and many Seattle moms commented on the high need for nurses on the home care side. I felt not only a call of service but knew this was the right place to utilize my previous experience and continue to evolve in my nursing role.

If you had to narrow down just one favorite part about your job, what would it be?

People usually say if you love what you do it never feels like a job. I am grateful that the motto rings true for me. I love saving lives, but the home care setting offers a totally different perspective. One of my many roles at Fedelta is helping families with nursing coverage at their homes. Some of our patients are very fragile and have complex diagnoses and my job is to try and find the right nurse for that patient and family. 

There is no greater feeling than being a part of a patient’s post-care journey, where together we achieve strength, healing and a new outlook on life. I have encountered many pediatric kids who have only known hospitals and it is incredibly humbling to watch children and their families transition to their homes for the first time. These patients are the very reason why I became a nurse. One of my favorite quotes is “You cannot change the world but you can make a difference.” I can only hope I am making a difference in the lives of patients and their families.

What are some obstacles you face in your role? What is a "hard day in the office" like?

One of the obstacles is not finding nurses for our cases, particularly for patients in desperate need of care. A hard day at the office is when too many important things are going on, such as clarifying an order for a patient or engaging with a facility where the doctor’s response time does not match the urgent need for clarification. Securing all the necessary pieces to ensure a smooth admission can also be challenging.

 

One of the hardest parts of my role is having to explain to patients in need we have not yet found care for them. Organizing training for nurses while simultaneously confirming insurance coverage can be a bit tricky as well! Meeting with recruiters to brainstorm how to retain new nurses is a fun, but cumbersome part of my role. Ensuring our nursing team feels cared for, listened to and comfortable in their workload is a crucial part of my role which I hold myself personally accountable for. An important lesson I have learned as a nurse is to prioritize things by urgent need.

If there's one thing you wish people outside the field knew about home care, what would it be?

That skilled nursing is provided in the comfort of your home! Being at home allows for a familiar environment in which many have a tendency to recover better and faster. Many treatments that could once be done only in a hospital can now be done at home. 

Also, home health care is usually less expensive and can often be just as effective as a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Equally important is that most patients and their families prefer to stay at home rather than being at a hospital or nursing home. A plan of care is developed by the care manager that describes what kind of services and care required based on your health problem. The doctor normally works with homecare staff to decide everything regarding care.

Forgetting work for a minute, what’s your favorite hobby or activity during off-hours?

I love hiking, swimming and camping. I like going on adventures and sightseeing. Finding new places to go and relax and enjoy the day. I love dancing to salsa, bachata, cumbia and just about anything with dancing. 

When I have time I also enjoy painting and making jewelry. I enjoy cooking as well and trying many new recipes. I love spending quality time with my daughter. Last but not least, I enjoy reading motivational books and leadership books as well—anything that focuses on my personal growth.

Caregiving Employment Opportunities

Fedelta Home Care is always on the lookout for in-home caregiving and nursing roles in NW Washington. Currently, we have several open positions. To learn more about our great employees like Juanita and find out how you may fit in with the Fedelta family, check out our employment page here.

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