Patients First; Nurses Brave the Cold to Fulfill the Job

When a winter blast hits Siouxland, many of us can go into hibernation and avoid the dangerous weather.
But for some dedicated men and women, the cold won't stop them from putting their patients first.
Nurses like Denise Berger are starting their engines and heading out to work all throughout Siouxland despite the single digit temperatures Tuesday morning.

Denise has been a home care nurse for 19 years and no matter how cold it is patients always need care. "You know, insurance kind of regulates things nowadays, where people don't stay in the hospital as long as they can-you know as long as they're able to. And then they come out, they need someone nursing at home to help they get through like .. make sure their wounds are healing or IV therapy, help them get stronger with their new medicine and learn knowledge and teach them how to take care of their symptoms, prevent them from going back in the hospital," said the registered field nurse. During the cold winter weather, many residents, who live in retirement homes, can't have access to their normal healthcare, but with nurses, like Denise, they get around the clock care. Patients, like 91-year-old Eunice Hansen, know the benefits of having a home care nurse. "I feel very fortunate because they have really been- been wonderful to check up on me and- and uh everyone has been so pleasant," said Hansen. This personalized care is just one of the luxuries that this patient doesn't take for granted during the cold. "You know, we don't know how fortunate we are to have central heat and um, and um a place to stay that is warm. I can look back to when I was a kid in the 20s and it wasn't like that on the farm," said the 91-year-old. And although much has changed since then, one thing remains the same for Eunice: it's the kindness of people like Denise, who every day are health care providers and companions to their patients.
Home care nursing has resulted in better health for many patients.
And Eunice Hansen says she's one of them.
If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about OR