Sarah Miles, RN, BSN joined the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA) in 2009 as a hospice nurse. Her attention to detail and desire to “always do it right” allowed for quick advancement in the organization and now, as Director of Quality and Palliative Care, Sarah is dedicated to ensuring VNA remains compliant with all regulatory requirements, while also developing programs to promote overall clinical quality and client satisfaction.
With a background in ICU nursing, Sarah thrives on the complexity of her work. From quality control and legal aspects to the constant regulatory changes and clinical education components, Sarah is committed to execute her job with care and compassion which she believes comes from the top down. She says, “at VNA, our team leads with compassion.”
One of her favorite parts of her job is auditing patient charts. She explains, “I love to see what amazing things we do for our patients. From the nursing notes to the chaplain and social worker notes, I can see how well we know our patients and how we provide all the important things for overall care.”
The intimate bond she and her team develop with their patients and their families helps ensure patient goals are met. “I had a patient who wanted to live long enough to enjoy a trip to the Northeast to see the changing foliage. It took a lot medically to make this happen in terms of getting him to the point where he could travel. We were able to make this wish possible,” Sarah recalled. Following his trip, the patient died two weeks later.
Stories like this is only one of many reasons Sarah is passionate about educating the public about hospice and its many benefits. “So many people are unaware of their Medicare benefits when it comes to hospice. Often, it’s too late for them to take full advantage of it. Hospice shouldn’t be a word-of-mouth campaign,” she says. Referring to VNA as her “forever home”, she considers it a privilege to serve our most vulnerable population as a member of the team.
Sarah is a wife and mom of two. When she’s not working, you’ll find her outdoors, tending to her chickens, building chicken coops, tinkering around the yard, and gardening.