When you live in northeast Connecticut, you quickly come to learn that it is made up of small, rural towns where it’s safe to make the assumption that everyone knows everyone. And when you work at the quiet corner’s only hospital as a nurse for nearly 30 years, like Kim Durand, Clinical Manager at Day Kimball Healthcare in the HomeCare department, you really get to know your patients; their faces become like family over the years. But every now and then, a patient may surprise you because of commonalities you share, or because of who they are and who they know.
Kim’s roots with DKH go all the way back to her birth here at the hospital. Her three daughters (Monique, Alica, and Gabrielle) were also born at Day Kimball, as were two of her three grandchildren. Kim grew up in Thompson and raised her family there too. She attended St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing and Assumption College, both in Worcester, where she obtained her diploma in nursing. She began working for Day Kimball in December 1987 as a forgiveness loan nurse, which was a program that recruited young nurses by helping them pay off their nursing loans because they were employed at the hospital.
Kim started working in the medical surgical department at Day Kimball where she stayed for 4 years. At the time, Community Home and Health Care (CHHC), a regional home health care agency comprised of five visiting nursing services in northeastern, CT in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, needed the support of nurses to cover a brief period of 8 weeks. Kim volunteered to help cover and loved the HomeCare setting so much that she stayed, taking a full time position as a field nurse and eventually moved into a clinical coordinator position. After 9 years, she took on her current role of clinical manager in 2001, a position she has held ever since.
When asked about her career with HomeCare at Day Kimball, Kim said, “I am so fortunate in my job to get to see how and where my patients live. I love being able to help them learn what is impacting their health in their everyday lives or causing their struggles. I have truly found love in nursing, especially in HomeCare. It has been a wonderful job.”
Kim recalled a particularly surprising patient encounter during her first year in HomeCare.
She was out for an appointment with a patient she was meeting for the very first time that day. During their visit, Kim noticed a photo on the console in the woman’s living room. The photo she saw was of a man with her great grandmother – it was a photo of Kim’s uncle. At that time, Kim’s uncle had passed on and she had never had a chance to meet his wife. Kim asked the patient about the photo and who she was because it was strange to Kim that this woman she had never met before had photos of her family in her living room. As it turned out Kim’s patient that day was an unknown member of the family. She was meeting her great aunt for the very first time!
Kim doesn’t make as many home visits now in her role as Clinical Manager because she’s busy providing support to the HomeCare nurses in the field, mentoring them and teaching them to perform the day to day functions of the job. But Kim says she still loves every opportunity to get back out in the field for home visits any time she can. She says it’s caring for patients that makes her job so special.
Read on to find out more about Kim in this edition of 13 questions.
1. I grew up in: Thompson, CT
2. Who’s on your playlist? Mostly contemporary country, however I also enjoy music from the 80’s
3. What’s your favorite movie? I think it would have to be the Harry Potter Series - mostly because my daughters were fans, and we read the books when they were younger and watched the movies together.
4. What’s your favorite color? Blue
5. What was the last thing you read? I am currently in school working on my Masters in Nursing, so I am reading a great deal of nursing science. For pleasure any of the novels by James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell.
6. Who is your hero? My mother. Her example of being a strong and independent lady helped me conquer challenges in my life. She was very giving and a hard worker.
7. Pets or no pets? (name them, if so.) Two cats both gray tigers, Mickey and Max.
8. Name something on your bucket list. Visit to all 50 states in our country.
9. What’s your “go-to” comfort food? Cheese, anything with cheese – any kind of cheese.
10. Smartphone, tablet or desktop? All of them, but right now my lap top is the most used.
11. People would be surprised to know that I: Was a family owner of Fabyan Sugar Shack. Our family harvested and made maple syrup for nearly 10 years in northeast Connecticut.
12. What’s your current health focus (for yourself, personally)? Weight loss and exercise.
13. What’s your favorite place in Northeast Connecticut? Walking the beach. I love Hammonasset in Madison, CT.
Top: Kim Durand, RN, Clinical Manager
Middle: Fabyan Sugar Shack of Fabyan Road in North Grosvenordale, CT, where Kim’s family harvested and made Maple Syrup for almost a decade.
Bottom: Kim walking Hammonasset Beach in Madison, CT