The Messenger of Good News
The Caregiver's Bible
by Kristal Glover-Wing
By Carin Chea
When playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote the ever-famous line, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," he clearly had not known of Kristal Glover-Wing.
Kristal, a health care professional and registered nurse with decades of practical experience, has recently added "author" to her list of skills and accomplishments.
Her book, The Caregiver's Bible, is the ultimate guide for those caring for loved ones and originates from her own extensive career as a medical care provider who has worked both in the macro and micro levels of health management.
The only thing more powerful that Kristal's expertise in the field of patient care is her unwavering, steadfast compassion.
You're a registered nurse (R.N.) and you have your own healthcare company. How did you get into this field?
My mom was an LVN [Licensed Vocational Nurse]. When I was 2 years into college, I still didn't know what I wanted to do. One day, it was time for me to pick my major, and I went to my mom and asked her and she said, "become a nurse!" That was the beginning of it.
My mom got me my first job as a sitter at a nursing home. I would transfer patients from the bed to the wheelchair. I'd play checkers with the residents.
After I graduated from college, I started working in a nursing home as an RN, and in about 6 months, I began working in home health. The work atmosphere was okay, but I wanted to do something a little different.
I went into so many homes and the patients - a lot of them didn't understand what was going on with their medical care. They didn't understand the illnesses that the doctors had diagnosed them with.
Even though I educated them, I felt I could impact people on a larger scale. So I started a hospice care agency and had it for 20 years. I sold it recently, and for the past 2 years, I've worked as a travel nurse. I've worked in different states. I wanted to get a visual of the patients.
Owning a company, I felt a little disconnected from the patients because I wasn't doing one-on-one care. I was doing administrative work with visits here and there.
What prompted you to write The Caregiver's Bible?
I wanted to teach people. I felt like I could touch people in a larger capacity if they understood what was going on and how to manage their illnesses.
Statistically, over 65 million Americans take care of someone that they love who are sick or debilitated. So many people (at least 80% of my patients) had questions and concerns about their illness and didn't know what to do.
Medical people are very busy; it's not that they don't care. They have a limited amount of time. It's really important for me to do everything I can to help people understand how to manage their care and the people they love. They don't have to rely as much on these medical systems. There are many simple issues that they can manage without having to go to the hospital or doctor.
It's easy for medical professionals to label patients as "non-compliant." But, every time that happened, I'd go talk with the patient to gage their understanding. Nine times out of ten, the patients couldn't tell me, and half the time, the caregivers couldn't tell me what problems the illness caused or how to manage it.
Too often, it seems, people are not taught; and, If people are taught, they're taught how to do it, but they don't understand why. It's important to understand the reasons behind what they're doing, so they can retain the information and keep doing it.
It's easy to say what people should or shouldn't do. But, you cannot forget that people have emotions. You still need to talk to people to the point where they understand the reasons behind it all, especially if they have an emotional connection to the patient. Especially in hospice - they need time and understanding because they've lost control.
What was one of the most memorable experiences you had while writing The Caregiver's Bible?
I basically wrote from all the experiences I had over the many years. I wrote about different issues that people encounter like diabetes, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure - and how to manage those conditions.
It wasn't the funnest book to write. It was about how to structure the information simply so that people who didn't have a medical background could understand. It would be a great tool for any caregivers so that they won't have to rely so heavily on the medical field.
Of course, patients will have to consult with doctors and others in the medical field, but this book will help them be able to navigate the simpler issues, so they don't turn into bigger issues. This book - to put it simply, will allow them to have a nurse in their pocket.
What primary message do you hope to convey in your book?
Empowerment. I want people to know and to get the information they need so that they can feel more confident in their abilities to take care of their loved ones. Knowledge is power. I want them to understand the healthcare services out there and what they can offer them. I want people to know what medical equipment are available and appropriate for them.
Many people don't know that someone sitting in a wheelchair all the time would benefit from a donut cushion that costs just $3.50 to prevent their bottoms from breaking down. Little problems will turn into big problems if not addressed.
I also want to help people minimize medical oversights, especially during this time of COVID-19. This is definitely not the time to go to the doctor's office for issues that can be managed at home.
How do you think your experience as a medical professional has affected your perspective of healthcare?
It's made me understand that medical professionals are human beings first. They have personal problems, and they have all these human emotions. They see patients and, overall, a lot of people in the industry do it because they care.
But, I think some of them are overwhelmed and overworked, especially with COVID-19. It's just compounded the issue. I think the medical industry is just like every other industry - you have people who work in it that are great, and you have others who need help.
I think The Caregiver's Bible is vital to minimize the weight put upon the medical industry, especially during this time of the global pandemic.
Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like us to now about?
I was in the healthcare business for 20 years because I just wanted to help people. The medical field is constantly evolving, and it's evolved into more paperwork and much less time with the patient.
As a result, I felt like I wasn't able to help as many people. So, The Caregiver's Bible was written to help people. It's a labor of love.
Ultimately though, my goal is to become a screenwriter. I'm currently working on original screenplays and a film.
That's so cool!
To learn more about Kristal Glover-Wing and The Caregiver's Bible, please visit www.TheCaregiversBible.com.
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