Nancy Funkhouser doesn’t mind putting 100 to 125 miles on her car in a day. It’s part of the job.
And it’s a job she loves. Funkhouser is a physical therapist with VHS Rehabilitation whose patients are all coordinated through VHS Home Health Care.
“To have the privilege to do something that makes you happy, and that pays your bills, that’s like the best of both worlds. I don’t know why you’d work anywhere else or do anything else,” she says.
Focus on individuals
The role allows her to focus solely on an individual.
“The thing I love about home care is it’s you and your patient one-on-one,” Funkhouser says. “That patient gets 150% of your attention, 150% of your effort and it’s just you and them. No other outside distractions or pull to your focus.”
VHS Home Health Care helps get individuals back to living their best life by providing skilled care in the comfort of their home. The home health team contracts physical, occupational and speech therapists through VHS Rehabilitation as part of Virginia Health Services’ spectrum of services.
The VHS lines of service give individuals the best access to their care needs regardless of where they live in southeast Virginia.
Because of the nature of skilled home health care, time is often determined by insurance. Funkhouser says, “You really need to pack in as much as you can in those sessions to get as much potential and gain and recovery of function as you can.”
The supervisors make an initial visit to open a care plan and create goals with the individual. The treatment plan is rolled out to the clinical team.
“Everybody is focused on giving the patients what they need. You hope that by the end of your time with them, you’ve met the goals for your patient.”Nancy Funkhouser
The team’s consistency allows individuals to see the same faces, “which is always better for overall patient recovery,” Funkhouser said.
Status changes can be identified and dealt with quickly when you and your team members know a patient. And the more you see them, the more they get to know you.
“When I’m with them, I give them as much as I can in the time we have,” she says.
Being a PT
Funkhouser knew she wanted to be a therapist since she was a teenager. She observed the therapists who worked with her father after he had major open-heart surgery.
That exposure to therapists in the hospital inspired her to be a therapist. She volunteered in high school and then went to school for therapy.
She spent 20 years in a hospital setting before working in home health settings a decade ago. She joined VHS Rehabilitation about six years ago and started with VHS Home Health Care a few months after it launched in 2015.
Working with VHS Home Health Care and VHS Rehabilitation put Funkhouser “in an optimal position to do what I do best, and that’s get wrapped up with the patient and get them better.”
It’s rewarding. There is independence and autonomy for the clinical team in providing quality care to the individuals VHS Home Health Care and Rehab serve.
“Here, everybody is focused on giving the patients what they need,” she says. “You hope that by the end of your time with them, you’ve met the goals for your patient.”
The passion for patients and for the job come through in Funkhouser’s voice.
“At the end of the day, I feel like if it’s a job you really like a lot, you tend to give a lot of yourself to it,” she said. “It’s just a win-win.”