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From Management to Home Care Nursing, Sheri Blanco, RN, Loves Her Job

Sheri Blanco, RN, returned to patient care after years in management roles

Sheri Blanco, RN, never considered home care nursing as a career option until her father tested positive for COVID-19 and needed home care services. After working in management for many years, most recently at KidsPeace Hospital, in Orefield, Pa., she was intrigued by the one-on-one care she saw her father receive.

“I wanted to step away from my roles in management and get back to patient care,” Blanco says. “In a hospital, you are pulled in many different directions at one time. In home care, your attention is solely on one patient, then you move on to the next patient and fully focus on them.”

In September 2020, Blanco transitioned to Lehigh Valley Home Care, where she regularly sees patients in Slatington, Walnutport and Palmerton, a short drive from her home.

Caring for patients in different circumstances

As a home care nurse, she seeks guidance and input from doctors, but manages her day as she chooses. “That trust factor is always there. Physicians rely on us because we are the ones seeing the patients every day. When you call a doctor’s office, they are very apt to listen,” she says.

On a typical day, Blanco juggles the diverse needs of her patients. She regularly cares for patients who have had hip replacement or open-heart surgery. “When issues come up, as with patients with congestive heart failure or diabetes, we have the knowledge and skills to handle the situation,” she says.

“The person at home is getting the same kind of care they would be getting in a hospital or a nursing home, but in the comfort of their own home,” she says. “The fallacy of home care is that you really are not doing nursing. But that’s not true, we are using the same skills you use in the hospital, just more independently.”

“I wanted to be a nurse since I was 5 years old. I became a nurse’s aide after graduating from high school and then decided that it was truly the path I wanted to take. I absolutely love my job. I cannot say that enough.” - Sheri Blanco, RN

Talking it out

Home care nurses tend to spend a lot of time educating their patients on how to flourish in their recovery at home. For instance, the home might not be set up in a way that is conducive to healing. Patients and families may need to fundamentally change their day-to-day life.

“In home care, 90% of our job is educating patients and their families, and that is where our intrinsic reward comes from,” she says. “We go over their medications and explain what foods to eat and make sure they understand everything they need to do. It's very rewarding when all the pieces of the puzzle finally fit together, the light bulb goes on and patients are successful in taking care of themselves.”

Connection and self-care

Blanco says she was interested in the field of nursing from a young age. “I wanted to be a nurse since I was 5 years old. I became a nurse’s aide after graduating from high school and then decided that it was truly the path I wanted to take,” she says.  

After getting her nursing degree from Cedar Crest College, she began her career in 1998 at Fellowship Manor in Whitehall. One thing she has learned along the way is to prioritize her self-care practices.

“My self-care is being outdoors. Working in home care, it’s so nice not to be stuck indoors all the time. Windows down, music on, enjoying that ride between patient visits. And knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives makes it so enjoyable,” she says.

“I absolutely love my job. I cannot say that enough.”


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