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RN Shares the One Constant COVID-19 Can't Change 

Although the pandemic has brought sweeping changes to health care, there’s one very important constant.

“The connection that I had with my patients before, I can still have,” said Melisa Mantha, RN, a visiting nurse with VNA Care for seven years.

“I still really love my time one-on-one with patients. I can sit in their homes. I can shut my phone off. I can listen to them. ...I feel like I can give my patients everything I have to offer,” she shared.

The most visible change in Melisa’s day-to-day work is the personal protective equipment in use during all patient care to help keep patients and clinicians safe from COVID-19. The masks sometimes put patients off, whether they knew Melisa before the pandemic or are meeting for the first time. She provides reassurance and has a few jokes at the ready, so people can “see my smile under my mask.” She wears a smiley face pin for good measure.

While VNA Care’s clinicians are on the frontlines of the pandemic, there’s also the very important work of caring for people with many other health concerns, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For many, VNA Care’s nurses and other clinicians are the lifeline they need to remain safe at home.

Melisa said that many of her patients “are not able to go into the wound centers, or they’re not able to go into the infusion centers, or they are not able to go into their doctor’s office for check-ups and lab work.” Melisa and her VNA Care colleagues remove barriers to health care and help reduce patients’ risk of hospitalization and exposure to COVID-19.

“I feel like our role is bigger than ever,” she said.

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