Real Life Story

From left: Miss Kathy and LutriciaMaking a Difference: Q & A with a Nurse Home Visitor and a Graduate Client of the Louisiana Nurse-Family Partnership Program

Katherine C. Molbert, RN, known to her clients as Miss Kathy, has been a nurse for more than 25 years and a home visitor with the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) for 6 and a half years. Lutricia and her daughter Daria from New Iberia, La., participated in the Nurse Family Partnership program from 2005 to 2007. Please read on to learn more about Ms. Kathy, Lutricia and Daria and how the NFP program brought them into each other’s lives. 

Miss Kathy, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in New Iberia, LA. I have a husband who was also born and raised here and two children. I can’t imagine living anywhere else…we love the culture and opportunities that this area has to offer (my husband is a big fisherman). I’ve been a nurse for more than 25 years and a home visitor with NFP program for 6 and a half years. I love the challenges I am faced with every day and the successes of my clients, no matter how small. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

How did you first learn about the Louisiana NFP program?
Actually, I was talking with the regional nurse consultant at a school function and she mentioned that there was an opening for NFP. I had no idea what the NFP program was at the time so we started talking about it and she explained what it was. It was a time when I was evaluating the job market and looking at different options. I thought seriously about the program and applied for the job.

What made you decide to become a home visitor?
I had worked in home health and pediatrics and loved both fields, especially pediatrics. NFP was a mix of both and I thought what an opportunity to combine two types of nursing that I loved into one job.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part is seeing a client succeed or reach a goal she has set, even if it is a very small accomplishment. Many of our clients don’t have support systems, or anyone who believes in them except the nurses who work with them. 

What is the biggest challenge to being a home visitor?
My biggest challenge is motivating my clients to work toward the goals they have set. Sometimes even “baby steps” seem monumental to them because they have never been challenged to step up to the plate to change anything in their lives for the better.  

Lutricia, please tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I was born in New Iberia, LA and although I moved away for awhile, I have lived here for a total of 35 years. Right now, I work as a night manager at a local gas station. I have one child, Daria, who was born at Iberia Medical Center on October 20, 2005.  

How did you first learn about the Louisiana NFP program?
I went into the health unit for a Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) appointment and saw a poster on the wall for a home visiting program for first time mothers. Because I had lost my first baby two years prior, I had to call and find out if I was still considered a first time mother and I was. I had an awesome nurse, Miss Kathy and she came once a week starting from when I was two or three months pregnant until Daria turned two.  

Because I lost my first child at 21 weeks, having the nurse come in and do tests made me feel better through the pregnancy. Miss Kathy would bring pamphlets on different things – why I should read to my baby and how to keep the house safe once my baby started walking around. I still look at this information that Miss Kathy gave me, especially now that Daria is really active, getting into everything and exploring. 

How is Daria doing now?
She’s keeping me busy! Daria is in Head Start and she’ll be starting Pre-K school in August. She is advanced for her age – she could spell her name at three, so once she got to Head Start, she knew everything – she had to be put in an advanced class. She even has a favorite book that she just read to her Grandma all by herself – it’s called My Little Shopping Bag – a gift from her teacher. I attribute this to advice from Miss Kathy to read to Daria from the beginning. We still go and see Miss Kathy from time to time. 

How did having a home visitor make a difference in your life?
I went back to school three months after having Daria – one semester after I started, I wanted to quit and Miss Kathy encouraged me to go back and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I did go back and I’ll be graduating this July from Louisiana Technical College in Accounting. I want to own a plus sized clothing store – there is a demand for them in New Iberia. Miss Kathy pushed me to go back because she knew what my dreams were.  

What would you like other families to know about the Louisiana NFP program?
It’s a good program – they help you know what stages your baby goes through during pregnancy and what stages your child goes through after you have them. Knowing what I went through with my first pregnancy, I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable without Miss Kathy. I had a counselor - Ms. Yasmine - come in because I was battling depression and was concerned over carrying my pregnancy. Ms. Yasmine stayed on to help me and Daria bond and help with my fear of losing Daria. Miss Kathy would let me hear Daria’s heartbeat once a week to put me at ease. Having both was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time.  

Cynthia Suire, DNP, MSN, RN, Nurse-Family Partnership Program Manager, Louisiana Office of Public Health contributed to this article.