New Nurse Practitioner Lends Expertise At Extended Care

Hinda Lemdani, standing, is a nurse practitioner working for Optum and is based at Extended Care.
Hinda Lemdani, standing, is a nurse practitioner working for Optum and is based at Extended Care.

Hinda Lemdani has two basic goals for New Community’s Extended Care Facility.

As a certified family nurse practitioner, Lemdani said she’s focused on improving wellness and preventing sickness among the nursing home’s residents.

So what does that look like?

To improve wellness, Lemdani promotes health maintenance: making sure residents get diabetes testing, mammograms, colonoscopy, eye exams and other check-ups. She is easily accessible to residents, families and staff because she spends more time in the facility than the average doctor.

However when someone gets sick, Lemdani’s role is to treat the person “in place” as much as possible to avoid unnecessary hospital visit, where further complications may arise. Elderly and ill patients can develop bedsores and are susceptible to viruses and bacteria from other sick individuals. Also, reacclimating to a change in surroundings can be disorienting, she noted.

“This is their home,” said Lemdani, whose office at Extended Care is located on the first floor.

To that end, Lemdani strives to treat residents at Extended Care as much as possible. She works with families to ensure that they are updated and comfortable with the plan of care in place for their loved one.

Lemdani works for a health services company called Optum and has been based at Extended Care since October 1. Optum operates under United Health Care Insurance, a Medicare Advantage program that supplies a nurse practitioner to the facility for residents enrolled in the insurance program.

“She is a compassionate nurse who has expertise in many skilled nursing areas, which will be a great help to the nursing staff and to the residents enrolled in the program,” Facility Administrator Robert Smolin said.

Another aspect of Lemdani’s role is working with the Extended Care nursing staff, whom she praised for their work. “They’re responsive, they’re helpful,” she said.

Born in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria in northern Africa, Lemdani immigrated to Brooklyn in 1998 with her husband.

They moved to New Jersey 11 years ago seeking a suburban life as they raised their two sons, who are now ages 12 and 16. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her family and taking Zumba and yoga classes

In many Mediterranean cultures, Lemdani noted, the topic of death is taboo. Over time, she learned the importance of addressing the topic and making advanced care plans that allow an ailing person and their loved ones to say goodbye.

“Sometimes it’s a difficult conversation so you have to be comfortable with it,” she said.

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