Healthy You - Every Day

From Combat Medic to Home Care Nurse

A former Army combat medic, Sean Snibbe, RN, began his nursing career as a pediatric nurse before transitioning to Lehigh Valley Home Care–Hazleton

Inspired by his grandmother who worked for Johnson & Johnson, Sean Snibbe, RN, followed in her footsteps by getting his nursing degree in 2019. Previously, he spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic, where he provided medical care to deployed personnel.

A year after beginning his career as a pediatric nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton, the pandemic hit. During that period, he continued to care for pediatric and med-surg patients. “I was slightly burnt out from COVID,” he says. “I liked the idea of home care nursing because it offered better hours and more time to spend with patients.”

In 2022, Snibbe made a transition to Lehigh Valley Home Care–Hazleton. A father of three teenagers, the idea of spending more time with his kids was a big draw.

““I love home care because it is so independent. I go home to chart and call patients. I really enjoy what I do.” - Sean Snibbe, RN

Bringing flexible, compassionate care to patients

Living in Schuylkill County, Snibbe typically travels across three counties, spending between 30 minutes and one hour at each visit. Most of his patients are older and receiving wound care, IV medications or tracheostomy care.

“Our goal is to keep patients home where they are most comfortable. We believe they recuperate better at home and it also saves money,” Snibbe says. “Seeing them in their home environment allows you to understand the full picture of someone’s health.”

In addition to nursing, Snibbe arranges other services, including visits from home health aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists and even Meals on Wheels. “We do a complete assessment of the situation,” he says. “We look at everything from their diet to where they are sleeping. We are really doing community nursing on top of nursing.”

Working as a team, while having a single focus

In addition to having a more flexible schedule, Snibbe gets to know his patients and their families on a first-name basis. During each visit, he gives the patient and family his undivided attention, educating them on their medical care and what they need to do to stay healthy.

“Over multiple visits, you get to see how life is going. You get to know them better and try to help them with their problems. Our patients usually go back to how they were or comparable to how they were before they went into the hospital,” Snibbe says. “We get better outcomes, and it’s very fulfilling. You get to understand your patients over a longer period.”

Basking in the sunshine

At age 39, Snibbe is happy for another benefit of working in home care. He sees the sun throughout the day, even in winter; considering that when he worked in the hospital, he sometimes started his shift before the sun came up and left after it had already set.

“I love home care because it is so independent. I go home to chart and call patients. I really enjoy what I do,” he says. He’s also excited for the next chapter in his wife’s life. She recently graduated from nursing school.  

Today, he is just grateful to be able to spend more time outdoors. “My fun outside of work is my kids,” he says.  


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