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Nurse Dedicates Career to Helping Patients Remain Healthy at Home

Delsye West Mason, RN, owes her nursing career to a meddling colleague.

She was working as a secretary in a medical unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, taking liberal arts classes at UMass, and trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.

“A nurse said to me, ‘Delsye, stop all this nonsense and go to nursing school,” she remembered. Since GPS wasn’t available on cell phones just yet, the nurse gave Delsye directions to her alma mater, Lasell University.

Fortunately for VNA Care’s patients, Delsye decided to give nursing a try. After gaining some experience working as a nurse at Mass General, Delsye joined VNA of Boston, part of VNA Care, over 30 years ago.

“Being a visiting nurse really honed in my nursing skills,” said Delsye. “When I’m in the home, it’s just me. I have to know what I’m talking about. I have to know what I’m doing. Over the years, I gained all of these exceptional, wonderful skills. I feel like there isn’t much that goes on inside the hospital setting that doesn’t happen in the community.”

Delsye has cared for patients and supported families throughout the City of Boston as well as Brookline, Quincy, Randolph, and other nearby communities. A self-described people person, she finds a lot to love about caring for patients in the home setting. She strives to ensure her patients become experts in their disease or illness and have the knowledge and tools they need to remain safe at home.

“Every home, every situation is different. I could have two people living next door to each other and they both have diabetes. I have to approach them differently because the settings are different and they might have different social issues. I have to adapt my skills and my training to reach people where they are at. I love that.”

Among the patients who have particularly touched her was a man she met over a decade ago when he was 19. He had a bad heart and was on the transplant list by age 30. Delsye has been involved in his case over the years, including times when he needed IV therapy and post-surgical care for a pacemaker and artificial heart. She was recently assigned to his case once more to provide nursing care after a successful heart transplant.

Delsye said, “I was so happy to see him. We’ve come such a long distance together, and his life is on track. It’s just such a really good feeling.”

Her decades as a visiting nurse have shown her just how vital home health Nurse dedicates career to helping patients remain healthy at homecare is in the overall health care system. “Studies have shown that patients do best when they stay out of the hospital. I think the visiting nurse is that liaison between the hospital, the patients, and the physicians who allows that to happen and be successful. I don’t think people realize how important the role of the visiting nurse is in the process.”

While Delsye said she “fell into” her nursing career, she has absolutely no regrets. She added, “Becoming a visiting nurse was the best thing for me, really and truly.”

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