Monday afternoon, almost 3:00 P.M. A tall, black man with dreadlocks rides up to your house on a motorcycle. You’re expecting a nurse for the 3:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. shift for your ventilator dependent husband. Could this be the nurse?

When employing a private duty nurse or a home health nurse, it is important to avoid prejudging the worth or value of the individual by his outward appearance only. The man on the motorcycle is not only a nurse but also a nurse proficient with ventilators. In fact, he is a nursing supervisor who trains nurses to use ventilators.

The general public used to think of motorcycle riders as outlaws who rode Harley Davidsons. In fact, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, founded in 1948, is considered an organized crime syndicate by the United States Department of Justice. However, many popular singers and movie stars of the past fifty years rode motorcycles. Do you remember actor Marlon Brando, singer Bob Dylan, actor Clark Gable, actor Clint Eastwood. pilot Charles Lindberg, singer Buddy Holly, actor James Dean, and actor Steve McQueen? All rode motorcycles.

Instead of focusing upon the nurse’s appearance, what should you ask? Does the nurse have a valid Illinois nursing license and CPR card? What hours is the nurse available to work? How many years of nursing experience does the nurse have? How many years of experience with ventilators does the nurse have? Does the agency supply back-up if the primary nurse is sick or unable to work?

American Home Health has many gifted nurses. Some ride motorcycles to work. Some drive to work. Some take public transportation. All are individuals who are devoted to their profession.

—By Karen Centowski

To read about emergency room nurses who ride motorcycles, go to the JOHN HOPKINS NURSING article called Life, Limb, and the Pursuit of Happiness at

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