Being your own boss has its perks. It also has it’s struggles and long, sleepless days. Just ask medical administrative assistant graduate Kathleen Turner.
Turner, a January graduate of the Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth campus, has been running Caring Hearts at Home, LLC, a private home health care business, since November of 2011 with her business partner, Suellen Douglas. We sat down with her to talk about making the leap into business ownership.
Question: How did you come to start your own home health care company?
Turner: I was transitioning jobs, and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. In the meantime, I took my certified nursing assistant exam, and started working in a couple different places including assisted living and home care.
When I was in home care, I met Suellen. We looked at some of the bigger companies and decided we wanted to stand for something different. We wanted to be more personable and make a difference at the end of people’s lives.
Q: What are some of the challenges of working as a two-person team?
T: A day off! The theory is that you are working for yourself, so you should be able to take a vacation whenever you want, but it doesn’t quite work like that.
Coordinating our schedules combined with new and existing client relations is hard enough to manage with just the two of us.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
T: It’s satisfying to say ‘this is my own company’ after working for someone else my whole life.
It does go both ways, and it can be a little scary on that limb, especially with home health care. If my main client passes away, there’s a transition stage. Right now, I can’t take on another full-time client because I’m full-time with one other person.
The fact that I’m making a difference in those people’s lives is very rewarding. We’re trying to make those last few years of life for our clients as enjoyable as possible.
Q: What’s the toughest part about home health care?
T: Losing clients. You get pretty up-close and personal with them. Most of them are sweet, sweet people, and some of them are not so nice, but you learn to love them all.
Q: What else is on your plate right now?
T: I’m a field reviewer for Outcomes Health Information Solutions (OHIS). I am doing that two days a week on my days off. That has more to do with the medical records part of health care, which is what I was gearing towards, before this opportunity came up.
Q: How much does your medical records experience translate over to your business?
T: Some of it does. I’m doing all the office work and the medical administrative work for us. The medical terminology class [at Minnesota School of Business] didn’t hurt, either.
Q: Any final thoughts on being out on your own, starting your new business?
T: I would say it’s worth it, and the younger you are the better…you’re a little more daring! My co-worker is 10-years older than me. In that sense, you’re never too old to start!
For more information on Caring Hearts at Home, LLC, please email Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Suellen at email@example.com.