Top Nurse: Kevin Franco Valle provides one-on-one care in the home setting

Franco Valle was awarded the practice award
Top Nurse: Kevin Franco Valle provides one-on-one care in the home setting
Ruthie Hauge

Kevin Franco Valle first realized he wanted to work in medicine after interning in a hospital laboratory in Mexico City.

Franco Valle, who moved in 2010 to the United States from Mexico at the age of 18 and now works as a registered nurse, was studying industrial chemistry in Mexico and needed to complete a social service component for the program.

While he mainly worked in the lab, he learned about diagnostics and enjoyed observing the hospital’s daily functions. After this introduction to the medical world, Franco Valle was determined to pursue nursing in the U.S.

“Nursing is such a rewarding career,” Franco Valle says. “There’s always something new to learn and discover, and you get to apply that knowledge to help people.”

After graduating from nursing school and working at Fort Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit, Franco Valle decided to try something different. He now works as an RN case manager at UnityPoint at Home, where he visits patients in their homes and provides customized care.

“I wanted to see what it was like on the other side of the spectrum when people were discharged,” Franco Valle says. “I’m learning a different side of nursing I wasn’t aware of.”

Franco Valle represents the kind of nurse one might not think about — one who offers critical care outside of a hospital or clinic setting.

He says while working in the ICU he was worried about how patients were going to manage their care after they were discharged. In his current position, he’s able to form relationships with each of his patients since he spends two months on average helping them.

Each day is different, Franco Valle says. Each person has different needs. Some need wound care, some require assessment and observation, some need help with daily procedures. Others need more resources, like a social worker or physical therapist, which Franco Valle can find for the patients.

“You get to talk to the person, see what they need, see what they want. Some people may want to start walking more, some people might want to be able to make it to their daughter’s wedding and you target the care,” Franco Valle says. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all.”

For Franco Valle, home care allows patients to be in control. He says it’s a slight shift from traditional hospital care. He thinks health care should be more about creating personalized assistance for each patient, and through at-home programs, he says, patients can receive that kind of care.

“We’re able to see things that we don’t see at the clinic or at the hospital,” Franco Valle says. “You’re able to see a different side of the person that you otherwise wouldn’t see.”