(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Some Texas State Technical College Vocational Nursing graduates recently learned about the world of pediatric home health care.
Destiny Guelker, a registered nurse and clinical case manager for Angels of Care Pediatric Home Health in Abilene, discussed the company’s nurses’ roles during an employer spotlight with graduates from TSTC’s Breckenridge and Sweetwater campuses.
“This is a really rewarding career. The care you will be providing to families is pretty diverse,” she said. “You will perform wound care including dressing changes and management of wound VACs, parent teaching in the care of special medical needs, IV antibiotics delivered through peripheral IVs, central lines, PICC lines, port-a-caths, other IV access devices and other skilled nursing needs.”
Angels of Care nurses are able to work flexible schedules, something that interested some graduates.
“You will be able to pick your schedule because most of the parents we work with are very flexible,” Guelker said. “The parents are also understanding about our nurses’ home situations. If someone in your family is sick, they want to make sure you take care of them first.”
When a nurse starts with the company, Guelker says they begin as a field nurse.
“But there is room for a lot of growth,” she said. “You can move up through the company as a clinical case manager, authorization case manager, clinical supervisor and even to director of nursing.”
Angels of Care is located in seven different states, including Texas. In addition to the Abilene location, the company has offices in many Texas cities.
“If there is anywhere you would like to go in the state, we have a location nearby,” Guelker said.
She added that bonding with families is an important aspect of home health care.
“The first thing you will have to learn is to work in a stranger’s house,” she said. “It will take some time to adjust to that. But that will become a positive aspect for you because you are going to build that bond with the family.”
Guelker said nurses sometimes travel to a child’s appointment or to school events.
“The family will really take to you, and you will become a part of the kid’s family,” she said. “You will be excited to see those special moments, just like the parents.”
Joan Coldiron, a Vocational Nursing instructor in Sweetwater, hopes future students will look into a home health care position.
“It is always good for our students to hear about these opportunities, especially those in the home health field,” she said. “Many vocational nurses are looking into that field. I hope we have more companies like Angels of Care talk to our students about job opportunities.”
TSTC’s Vocational Nursing certificate of completion program is available at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. Upon completion of the program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination, graduates are classified as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs).
According to onetonline.org, LVN jobs were forecast to increase 17% in Texas between 2020 and 2030. The median salary for LVNs in Texas is $48,520, the website showed.
TSTC also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.