New business provides personalized care, at-home medical assistance
April 22, 2013
For two nurses who share the same life goal of helping people on a personal basis, the ability to start up their own business, RNs with Ease, was a dream come true.
Diane Miessler and Nancy Nolan, both registered nurse care managers, visit the homes of those in need of medical assistance once a week for $200 a month and also offer a 24/7 service for an additional $40 per visit for urgent situations.
"It's for families trying to keep track of somebody and also for the clients themselves, if they need someone to check in and interpret medical tests," Miessler said.
Nolan has experience working with cardiac surgery in the Intensive Care Unit, medical-surgical, and was most recently a hospice nurse until she decided to focus exclusively on RNs with Ease. She said she fell in love with nursing after a few months of working with patients and developing a bond with each individual patient.
"I became an aid and absolutely loved it because I love the people," Nolan said. "It never failed to amaze me how I could walk into each room and get to know every patient individually."
Miessler served in workplaces such as hospice and the emergency room and in fields like geropsychology, gastroenterology, and she currently works part time in a family practice clinic in Grass Valley.
The two worked together in 2008 at a hospice facility and connected on a personal and professional level.
"I really liked her, and patients really liked her," Nolan said. "She has a big heart. That's something we have in common."
RNs with Ease offers guidance to help patients understand doctor visits, medications and what certain symptoms may mean and also assists family members in need of know-how, caregiving and available resources.
"You see a lot of people out there who do not understand or realize what's going on or what their doctor says to them," Nolan said. "When you're a nurse in someone's home, you spend time and get an idea of what's really going on."
Miessler checks in with her neighbor, Leal Portis, 79, who overcame three types of lung cancer and a stroke, regularly to spend time with her and monitor her wellbeing.
"It's very emotionally relieving and nice to have social time," said Portis, who lives with a caretaker after her husband died in 2011. "I am going to try their suggestions."
Miessler said she wished the at-home option would have been available for her mother when her health was failing.
"It was so hard to know what was going on with her three hours away," said Miessler, who eventually moved her mother closer. "I tried to go down when I could, but it was hard to know what was going on, so a lot of our goal is to help people navigate the resources available so people can stay home, be safe and supported and stay out of the hospital."
The service can also help with balance and fall prevention therapy.
"A lot of people don't know the red flags or don't have their medicines straight, if they're ordering something new, don't stop the last ones, and just things of that sort," Miessler said. "We can also keep their strength up and offer balance training and fall prevention, so people can stay at home as long as they can."
The RN care managers are also able to assess health and symptoms, view and organize medicine, help to make an appointment with a doctor or family and can interpret and communicate with family, Miessler said, as well as transport those who are fairly ambulatory.
The services offered also include nutritional counseling, something Miessler is personally familiar with after she experienced gestational diabetes during her second pregnancy.
"We can do diabetic management and ideas for ways to eat that are better for diabetes," Miessler said. "We can also do screening for high blood pressure, wound care, bowel and bladder management, catheters, anything in our scope, which is pretty big."
For those who wish to avoid doctor visits, RNs with Ease offers an additional form of care.
"Some people don't want to go or haven't had good experiences with medical professionals and shy away from doctors visits," Nolan said. "When they have assistance, they can be in a much safer situation for their health."
Those who are limited to a certain number of visits under Medicare can also find unlimited options with RNs with Ease.
"Medicare visits become less and less all the time, and it leaves people hanging, and they need some additional care," Nolan said.
After business becomes consistent, Miessler and Nolan also plan to help those who require monetary assistance.
"We can take a percentage or something like that," Nolan said. "When we were originally coming up with prices, we didn't know what to charge. It was hard to figure out. We really just love the job and the people … even the curmudgeonly ones," she said, smiling.
With the business, the nurses can avoid the challenges of nursing homes with difficult insurance companies, management and high numbers of patients, and with the service can instead offer as much personal attention as possible.
"What's great is we will really be able to totally focus on people and what they really need," Nolan said. "We are really looking forward to helping people."
To contact RNs with Ease or arrange a free consultation, call 530-272-0808.
"I just think having somebody with medical experience, checking in and offering that kind of support and social contact can make a big difference," Miessler said. "And we love our patients."
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@ or call 530-477-4230.