Laura Brown is a hospice operations support licensed vocational nurse (LVN) in the VNA Ann’s Haven Denton office. In this role, she has the challenging job of scheduling more than 20 home health aides (HHAs) across North Texas. It’s a job she never thought she would have, but one that she takes seriously.
Laura began her career in the early ‘90s as a home health aide for Ann’s Haven Hospice—many years before it became a VNA office. After a few years, she moved to Arizona and tried a different career path. Soon, she returned to the Denton area, received her LVN and began working for VNA again in 2015. “Hospice has a way of pulling you back,” she laughs.
When she returned to VNA, she worked in the field caring for patients and then took an administrative role. “I consider our HHAs as the nightingales for our patients; they are such a critical part of the care team,” she says. Laura considers herself an ally for the HHAs and believes in open communication. “Our HHAs have gifts and patients and families realize this very quickly,” she says. “I want our aides to be happy and provide the exceptional care we are known for providing.”
One of Laura’s biggest challenges is juggling all the patient requests that come in for the HHAs. “The biggest compliment our HHAs can receive is to be requested,” she says.
Throughout her career, Laura has helped many patients experience a beautiful passing. She considers herself to be an empath—someone who is exceptionally sensitive to the emotions and frame of mind of nearby individuals—and she believes this has helped her tremendously with caring for hospice patients. She recalls one patient by the name of Harvey who was not expected to live through the weekend. On Monday morning, his wife told Laura that he waited for her to arrive before he passed. Once she arrived, she sat down and held his hand. He passed quickly once he knew she was there and could say goodbye.
In Laura’s spare time, you’ll find her mothering her dogs, Layla, Gracie, and Shadow. She’s also training Shadow to become a therapy dog. Laura can also be found in the pool, where she enjoys exercising, swimming, and enjoying the weather. She has one adult son who lives in Colorado.