A Nurse in the Family-Real Life Story

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Frank had multiple medical problems, an array of doctors and several in-home care providers, but his condition continued to deteriorate. His family was starting to feel hopeless and didn’t know where to turn.

“It was pretty evident that my father-in-law wasn’t taking care of himself,” recalled Susan Ward. “We didn’t know what doctors he was going to or not, and what they were saying.”

After spending a week caring for her father-in-law, Susan quickly realized how bad the situation had become. “I started to call different agencies to see what could be done,” she said.

Susan’s frantic phone calls eventually led her to Vikki Dargenio and her medical case management company, A Nurse in the Family. “Vikki really came right at the nick of time,” Susan said. “When we hired Vikki, she knew immediately what needed to be done, and she was able to talk to the doctors and get the right care for Frank.”

Vikki started accompanying Frank to all his doctor’s appointments, helping to eliminate any confusion and ensure that he always had an advocate present. “When I take a patient on, I really become part of their family,” Vikki explained. “I am the quarterback of the healthcare team and my goals are to keep people at home and make sure they get the medical care they need.”

After caring for four of her own family members, Vikki realized that every patient needs an advocate, especially senior patients who are often referred to multiple specialists with limited explanations. “Dr. John Sabatini actually recommended that I start this business after seeing what I had done for my family. He told me that it was amazing and that there was really a need for this,” Vikki recalled.

As a registered nurse with a background in long-term care, Vikki is uniquely positioned to help ailing seniors receive better medical care and remain in their homes longer. Since the initial recommendation that started her business, she has had several medical professionals acknowledge the importance of her services.

“It is very helpful that you come to these appointments. And on top of that, I can tell you really care,” Dr. Daniel LeBovic, a hematologist, told Vikki during one of her many visits to his office with a patient.

For Frank and his family, Vikki’s care and compassion changed everything. The family no longer had to worry about whether Frank was receiving the best possible medical treatment or if he was correctly following the doctor’s orders. By managing all of Frank’s medical appointments and helping the in-home companion caregivers better serve his needs, Vikki made it possible for Frank to continue living at home until he passed away in May of 2012.

“Frank remained in his home, and Vikki was with him until the very end,” Susan remembered. “She was very competent and always knew what needed to be done. She was there whenever we needed her, and she was so good to him.”

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