There are certain facets of the business world that quite simply need nurses. One huge industry in today’s world is in home care. We all will most likely need to be taken care of at some point in our lives, and of course everyone would rather be cared for in their home rather then be at a facility.
Susan Mojaverian has managed to use her expertise in caregiving to create a successful in home care business called ComeForCare, in which she is able to use her nursing abilities in a much different way than many nurses do. Susan has managed to create a thriving in home care business. Check out this amazing interview as Susan takes us on a journey through her career and how she found her niche in the business world.
What are some of the areas of nursing you worked in during your career? Did you have a favorite?
I worked critical care nursing in a hospital, home healthcare and did some school nursing and then did hospice nursing. Hospice nursing was my favorite because it is such a holistic approach to care. After hospice nursing I went back and got my master’s degree and taught community health and public health for 8 years.
How did you transition to in home care?
This was something that I always wanted to do. I never felt working in a hospital was my favorite thing but I did learn a lot. The switch to homecare was very autonomous. In the home, you have less resources, so it is a huge shift in leaving the protected environment of the hospital where you have many people assisting you. It is a very different experience and you have to be very creative and use resources available in each given home and that may vary. For example, you may have to learn how to make your own saline solution. You also need to know the difference between sterile technique and clean technique. In the home, it is a clean environment. Hospitals are a sterile environment. Things like that are very different. Delivering care in someone’s home is different because they are able to tell you exactly what they can and cannot do, so that you are teaching and make changes in the way they care for themselves. You are able to teach someone how to do something in a hospital, but chances are they won’t retain what was taught. They are stressed out and don’t have the same cognitive abilities in the hospital. It is easier when they are relaxed in their home.
What are some of the things you have liked about working and teaching as an in home care nurse?
Kitchen table discussions with clients are invaluable. Being around the family and teaching them and then watching them reinforce the teaching with each other is great. Everything is just easier in the home environment.
You opened up you own business at some point, what is it that drove you to entrepreneurship?
-As a home care nurse and hospice nurse, I encountered people doing homecare. I always thought these people did a great job and the services they provided were invaluable. When working with a Medicare agency, we were only in homes a few hours a day; even a week. I knew people needed a lot more care than those few hours. Home care workers filled in those gaps. I loved when there was someone present in the home fulfilling that duty. I was able to be sure the client was getting the proper care. I saw the value of homecare workers (non-medical person) as opposed to the home health (skilled agency).
I decided that I did not want to get a PHD and continue teaching so I decided I would get out of the education tract and get back into the community and do something with home care and it evolved to the point where in order for me to do what I wanted to do, I would have to do it on my own and create it on my own in my own way. The franchise opportunity came up and I felt that would be a good fit. It is really a joy to create this business that is about helping seniors and keeping them safe at home. It just feels right at this time in my life to be doing what I am doing. However, it is quite challenging. I’m on call 24-7 and there is no down time, but I am okay with that.
If someone was to decide to do something similar to what you have done entrepreneurially, what are some pitfalls you could possibly help them avoid?
Do your due diligence. In not having done this before, it’s hard to know what due diligence looks like. However, franchising really helped. I am very happy I chose the franchise I chose and they have always been there to back me up. They answer questions promptly and thoroughly and in a fine fashion. ComForcare has been terrific. Don’t look at other people doing similar business as competitors. There are a lot of other agencies doing the same thing and franchise emphasizes this, but you should focus on what you are doing different rather than I have to beat someone else out. You should have a positive way of thinking as opposed to a competitive mindset. Look at all cases as a new challenge. No two families operate the same way. The needs of every family are different. Get tough and don’t let things get you down. Perseverance is very important
What are some of the rewards you have experienced from being an entrepreneur?
-I feel like a partner in the business community. I participate with the local chamber of commerce in talking with other business owners. I learn from them how to think like a business owner. It’s been a lot of fun and exciting
I have also joined a service organization for business owners. I have become a Rotarian and it is good for networking. I really enjoy the networking aspect of things.
How has your nursing background impacted your business?
-The key differentiating factor is that my particular business in comparison to others in the county is it is very nurse driven. The quality assurance, oversight of the caregivers and education sets my business apart. I also think very holistically as a nurse so I am able to advise clients and caregivers about the big picture. In particular, the end of life big picture and where the disease process and decline is headed and how it will impact the family and individual. It is very surprising to me how little caregivers understand about the decline and it is always a very nice thing to be able to help them to reach new levels of understanding. My goal is to send these people to hospice and we partner with the hospices to send caregivers there for a few hours.
Do you have any final words of wisdom for nurses that are considering the entrepreneurial route themselves?
-I would like to encourage them that nurses have the background and know how to run these businesses If we had more nurses in this industry, they could elevate the opinion of others in the community. Nurses know that they are doing and it may be a slow uphill growth pattern with the business, but you must persevere, work hard and give it everything.
A special thanks to Susan for doing this interview us, and a special thanks to ComForcare Senior Services located at 47 Marchwood Rd., Ste. 1A-1 in Exton, PA. Leaders and franchised provider of non-medical, private duty home care for seniors and others in need.