For more information about services in this industry, you can also contact Home Care of La Jolla.
La Jolla Nurses Homecare is the oldest home healthcare agency in San Diego County; what began in 1977 as a woman’s dream for better care at home has blossomed into a powerhouse of more than 300 highly trained medical professionals and an agency that has consistently ranked on the ‘BEST’ lists of both the La Jolla Light and the San Diego Union Tribune.
We spoke to CEO and President, Brittnei Salerno, about the kind of service you can expect when you call, why she is so passionate about what she does, and how one working woman’s dream turned into a groundbreaking reality thirty-eight years ago.
Pioneering the Field
Brittnei’s mother, Lorraine Salerno, built La Jolla Nurses Homecare from the ground up when she founded the company in 1977. Back then, she saw an extreme deficit in homecare agencies in San Diego – there were only, at max, about five total and they were mainly hospital and medicare based; today, there are close to 400 in San Diego alone.
Her mother was passionate about helping people and providing a level of care that wouldn’t otherwise be found in a hospital or hospice environment. Statistics show that sick and recovering patients progress the fastest and are more inclined to stay positive when recuperating in their own home. Lorraine’s belief was that the comfort and familiarity of home coupled with the watchful eye of experienced and compassionate staff is the recipe for a more successful and shorter recovery period. Today, it’s clear that Brittnei and her staff are dedicated to continuing the tradition and legacy of what her mother began so many years ago.
A Legacy of Compassionate & Stress-Free Care
After spending time working alongside her mother to help put herself through college, Brittnei was inspired by the energy, compassion, and sheer enthusiasm that her mother and coworkers shared for what they did. Helping people who needed it the most – and receiving accolades from loved ones whose lives were made easier because of the agency – on a daily basis generated the kind of gratitude early on that Brittnei says still drives her today.
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job was, Brittnei said simply that it was the ability to come into someone’s life and remove all of the worry, pain, and uncertainty that’s associated with an ill loved one or even those struggling with their own medical issues. Usually clients come to the agency in some degree of crisis because someone they care deeply about needs assistance. Oftentimes, the client is unsure of how they can help. Brittnei remarked that the level of trust her clients place in the agency is enormous, and ultimately, the most gratifying part of the business.
The resounding, heartfelt ‘thank yous’ from clients, and sometimes even the close-knit relationships Brittnei and her staff develop between clientele, makes the long hours and stressful days completely worth it.
What They Can Do for You
When someone calls the agency for their loved one or even for themselves to search for an at-home caregiver, a service coordinator will gently ask a series of questions to get a feel for the level of care that will be needed. After a noninvasive and brief analysis, the staff and client make an informed decision together about the type of care to begin.
If a certain level of care is too expensive, their staff will search for a more affordable alternative; sometimes, the level of care needed can be satisfied with an experienced caregiver as opposed to a Registered Nurse, which cuts the cost dramatically.
La Jolla Nurses Homecare offers three levels of care.
- Caregivers: assistance with daily living, housekeeping, shopping, personal care, etc.
- Licensed Vocational Nurses: all of the caregiver duties plus nursing duties, which include things like medication administration, catheterizing a patient, administering tube feedings, etc.
- Registered Nurses: all of the caregiver and LVN duties, plus other highly technical duties such as IV medication administration, performing patient care plans and assessments, etc.
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