Foster Care Public Health Nurse

  1. I just got a new job as a foster care public health nurse in a very rural area and I am very excited about the opportunity, yet nervous since I have only worked in med-surg. Any advice/tips would be much appreciated. I have researched the job extensively and feel like it will be a great fit for me, but hearing from people with personal experience is always helpful. Thank you!
  2. Visit mesa14 profile page

    About mesa14

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 57; Likes: 11
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   wish_me_luck
    I don't have advice, but that job sounds awesome!!! Good luck!
  4. by   mustlovepoodles
    I work for a non-profit that provides therapeutic foster care and placement for persons with developmental disabilities. I am the only nurse in the organization. I haven't been in the job very long, about 9 months, but my primary role is to be a resource for our caseworkers and caregivers. I do trainings for caregivers so they'll know how to care for their clients who have medical issues. I also audit charts to make sure that we are providing the care that has been mandated and to make sure we aren't missing important things, like labs, dr appts, nutrition consults, etc. I make recommendations for follow-up care. Sometimes I travel to a client's home to Do on-the-spot training with caregivers in an emergency. So far, I love it! I love teaching and our staff is so appreciative. We have the best caregivers in the world and they genuinely want to help "their kids."

    I got into this through my 17yo son. My youngest son is severely mentally handicapped, like a 1 yr old. He is nonverbal, has feeding issues, unbalanced gait, fall risk, elopement risk, seizures, hearing and vision impairments, and he's incontinent. This organization helped us find placement for him. During the process, they asked me if I could do his training to help expedite the process. Apparently, they liked what they saw because 2 weeks later they offered me a job, LOL.
  5. by   mesa14
    Wow, what an amazing story you have!
    My understanding is that I will be mainly a resource referral and keep track of all of the foster children's immunization records and any other medical information that needs to carry with them throughout their various placements. I will also provide a lot of information from a medical standpoint for court cases, since social workers don't always understand all of the medical jargon. I'm very excited about this opportunity and just want to do the best job that I can.
    Do you have a BSN? Thank you for the feedback.
  6. by   mustlovepoodles
    No BSN. I have an ADN and a BS in education. And 36 yrs nursing experience, LOL
  7. by   mesa14
    I was just curious, because I have my ADN/RN, but will be required to get my BSN within a couple years.
  8. by   PrayeRNurse
    Foster parents are not always trained to care for the clients with medical needs. I fostered one child who had seizures that happened every few min some being staring and others worse She had a seizure magnet to "break the seizure which she hated but it worked. She was in foster care for 2 years before I received her. She had a dx of mental retardation. When she was not having seizures I did not think she was MR. So I began to document every single seizure and the environment at the time. After a week I made an appointment with her doctor. I showed him the log and we began identifying the triggers and then called in the school to work on lighting in the class and taught them what to watch for. After several months she had seizures 3-5 times a day. She was able to learn to read and to do some ADL's. I don't tell this to pat myself on the back, if someone had taught the other foster parents how to watch and how to make a log she would have been helped long before I was her foster mom. Please use your jobs to teach those that care for the kids who need nurses to advocate for them the most.
  9. by   seb1202
    I don't have much advice, but I also just got a job that will be involved in care coordination of medically complex foster children. We should keep in touch!
  10. by   Genista
    Mesa14- Congratulations! Have you started your job? How do you like it so far?
  11. by   mesa14
    I love my job so far, but I still have a lot to learn. This next month will involve a lot of training and learning : )
  12. by   PrayeRNurse
    I am so glad that you are enjoying your job. Keep us posted as to how you are doing. This is the area facing great change in health care reform. It must be so exciting to be in the middle of it!
  13. by   estrellaCR
    Congratulations! Being an Nurse in foster care in very rewarding and you get to form relationships with the children and the families and help and observe their progress.
  14. by   lovinlife11
    This sounds like an amazing job!! Good luck to you!