A pair of genuine smiles beam wide as Chelsea Rambo, RN, reads aloud to one of her five regular home health nursing patients. The realities of tracheostomy tubes and medication schedules give way t the colorful adventures of Pete the Cat. The rhyming children’s tale follows the cartoon feline as he befriends Gus the Platypus, who is different than his other friends.
“Don’t be sad,” Chelsea reads. “Don’t be blue. There is something everyone can do.” Her patient listens closely as Chelsea’s voice rise and falls with the rhythm of the story until she reaches the end. Fror start to finish, no more than 10 minutes pass — a brief slice of her typical 12- hour shift.
“Interacting and playing with my patients,” Chelsea describes, “that’s the best part of my day. Anything that involves working together and them being happy.”
Chelsea recently earned her RN while working for a private home health care agency in the Lancaster area. She specializes in pediatric care, which includes nursing within a patient’s home and at school. Her caseload focuses or five patients, with an additional five she fills in for if another nurse cannot. She averages around 40 hours a week, and daytime shifts occupy her current schedule.
“I did nights for a while, and I still pick up night shifts here and there,” the 26-year-old explains. “… My flexibility helps with going on different cases. If they need to switch me, I can do that because I’m trained.”
In addition to her homecare nursing work, Chelsea is studying to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
“I’ve always had a passion for it,” Chelsea says. “I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. My grandmother had dementia, and she lived with us. When I was in high school, I was her caregiver when I came home from school until my parents got home from work. I really loved that.”
Initially, Chelsea pursued a certified nursing assistant (CNA) degree with a focus on dementia and Alzheimer’s ski care. When she went to LPN school, she switched to pediatric care. “I met and interviewed with [pediatric nurses], and I ended up loving it,” she says. “… Just the overall experience with these kids — they are loving, and you get attached to them very easily.”