As the registered nurse case manager for Horizon Home Care & Hospice Inc., Jim Peters passionately advocates for his patients. He educates them in ways that help them gain as much independence in their lives as possible. Even before he meets his patients, Peters starts researching their illnesses, their circumstances and the evidence-based best practices that will help improve their lives.
He understands that a patient isn’t just a person with a disease. A patient has a life, a family, a history, a story. With that philosophy, Peters treats his patients as the whole human beings they are, taking into consideration their physical, psychosocial, spiritual, socioeconomic and cultural needs. This approach is more likely to result in better patient outcomes, Peters believes.
“My philosophy of care? Treat your patients like they’re family,” Peters says. “Treat them like you’ve known them your entire life. Take them into your confidence.”
In nominating Peters as a Health Care Hero, Mary Haynor wrote how Peters recently helped a patient recover from what started out as a minor injury and evolved into an infection that nearly cost the patient his life.
Jim Muth was cutting wood when he got a small sliver that later got infected and turned into necrotizing fasciitis, or “flesh-eating disease.” Muth’s condition worsened to the point of multi-system organ failure, skin grafts and wounds that refused to heal. After spending time in a long-term care hospital, Muth was sent home and Peters was assigned to manage his care.
On his first visit, Peters “reported that he thought they had sent his 50-year-old patient home to die,” wrote Haynor, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Home Care, 8949 N. Deerbrook Trail, Brown Deer.
But Peters worked with Muth and Muth’s wife to research the medical condition, talk to physicians and search for alternate treatments.
“They prevailed,” Haynor wrote of Peters and the Muths. They finally located a physician who was using a treatment developed in England that worked to heal Jim Muth’s wound.
“This story exemplifies Jim Peters the nurse,” Haynor explains. “He inspires, he coaches, he makes a difference – and he makes me proud of my chosen profession every day.”