Kind Natured Heart & Taking Care of People: A Story from a Case Manager

When Ethel Picado was a little girl, she never thought she would be a nurse, she just knew she loved learning.  That love was enhanced in 2012 when she joined EveryStep. 

As an RN Case Manager for EveryStep, Picado helps people make the most of what they can do while they can live at home safely and independently.

Every case is different than the one before for Picado, who sees four to seven patients on any given day. 

Picado provides patients with treatment and medication management, health assessments, patient education, counseling, or connects them to community resources such as a social workers or senior companions. 

“It’s kind of my nature as a person, I like to take care of other people,” Picado said of her chosen career. “My goal is to get people somewhere and help them see more about how they can take care of themselves.”

Although Picado loves what she does,  it can be frustrating at times. 

For instance, some patients can have a hard time facing reality when they’re diagnosed with a condition that requires a change in their lifestyle.

“You have to learn to work with them and develop a form of trust,” Picado said.

From her experience, Picado has found it’s best to be very honest with people about what’s going on. Once you form a relationship with the patients, “they realize you are there, not necessary to tell them what to do or how to do it, but rather that you are actually interested in them living a better life at home and that is when they start to make a change.”

Ethel values getting to have one-on-one connections with her home care patients, “just being able to offer herself as someone they can count on and feel comfortable with.”

In the home care setting, staff do everything within their power to keep patients where they want to be, at home. EveryStep staff and volunteers go over the top in meeting their patient’s needs.

Although some might assume that working in home health care means only working with elderly patients, that’s not the case for Picado. It’s not uncommon for Picado to work with people in their forties or fifties. She has also worked with teenagers, kids, and adults who are at the prime of their lives and need home care for a variety of reasons.

You can tell a person loves their job when their eyes light up when they talk about it, and that’s just what Picado’s did.

“Just look at it as a garden,” she said. “You go into a garden and you are going to find lots of flowers of all different kinds, colors, and shapes. Some are going to have thorns, some will be very smooth, some will be tall, and others will be short, but they are all flowers, and you are there to care for all of them.”

Thanks in part to staff members like Ethel Picado, EveryStep was recently named as a Des Moines Register Top Workplace for 2018. If you would like to join the EveryStep team visit our career website to learn about job opportunities.

This story is an edited excerpt of a piece written by Drake University student Jessi Jacobs.