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Agency Education: Promoting the Benefits of Home Healthcare in the Community

VNA of Ohio’s Manager of Agency Education, Anne Simmons, RN, has spent over 22 years in home health care.  For the past 7 years, Anne has worked as an educator and was promoted to Manager of the Department in 2021.  VNA of Ohio is an approved provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the Ohio Nurses Association and an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  Annes’ department delivers education to the VNA staff, as well as to local community organizations.

As we celebrate VNA of Ohio’s 120th anniversary, we are happy to feature the Education Department and its important work for our agency and community.

  1. What forms of ongoing nursing education does VNA of OH offer?

Our department serves the VNA of Ohio’s employees at all stages of their tenure:  new employee onboarding, new processes and procedures, technology education on new devices, case management, continuing educational offerings, strategies to improve outcomes, and infection control and PPE, just to name a few! 

As for the community, we offer courses to educate community hospitals, assisted livings, and case managers on the benefits of home health care services.  Upon discharge from their facility, home health care can help the patient recover, improve their functional status, and help to reduce preventable readmissions to the hospital.

  1. What have you learned about Nursing and Agency Education in your years of service to VNA of OH?

I have learned that we have a great opportunity to teach the community about the benefits of home health care.  VNA of OH helps patients remain safe and independent in their home, allowing them to age in place.  VNA of OH can help the patient identify issues early to prevent a rehospitalization.  This is also important to our Hospital partners, as we work with them to reduce the 30-day readmission penalty.

Technology has evolved within nursing and home health care and the VNA of OH is always looking at new and innovative ways to better serve our community, such as bringing virtual services to our patients.

  1. How do you educate new VNA of OH team members once hired?

We have a full orientation program that involves a skills assessment and competencies, classroom education, preceptor support in the field, and ongoing support from the Education Department.

  1. Does VNA of OH partner with local universities to recruit team members?

We host students from many disciplines, from shadowing the clinician to intensive capstone programming.  We want to recruit clinicians to come to home health care and starting with students is an important way to demonstrate the value of this amazing field.

  1. What have you learned in your nursing career that might inspire others to join your ranks?

You don’t have to work in the ER to make the most difference in a patient’s life. In home health care we manage acute and fragile patients in their homes and it makes a huge impact on their life.  The work is so rewarding, we get to use our assessment and problem-solving skills with each of our patients. It’s the one-on-one interaction that is so special, this is where we teach and support the patient and the family.

  1. What is your favorite part of your work with VNA of OH and what have you learned?

My favorite part is that I personally know everyone who works here!  By having this personal knowledge, I am able to help each one find success, impact patient care, and educate on best practices.  We develop competent caregivers that provide the patient and the VNA of OH with the best outcomes. It is great to be part of a team that accomplishes goals and makes such a difference in our patient’s lives. 

Would your healthcare organization benefit from learning more about our services

Does a career working with VNA of OH sound intriguing? 

Contact us to learn more about our preventative patient and healthcare service provider opportunities.