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Look for the Helpers: Santa Maria nurse helps COVID-19 patients recover at home

Dignity Health
Nurse Crystal Cabalitasan at Dignity Health

Your NewsChannel continues to highlight the helpers in the community who go above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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At Home Care

Santa Maria native Crystal Cabalitasan is a home health nurse at Dignity Health. Cabalitasan spends the majority of her time in the field, helping homebound patients recover at home.

While her background is in public health, she says she prefers providing more personal care. She calls her career a 'happy medium', combining nursing care with a way to really get to know patients.

As a home health nurse, Cabalitasan visits 5 to 6 patients everyday, including patients who have or are recovering from COVID-19. She is one of only a few nurses at Dignity Health who treats COVID-19 patients at home.

Born and raised in Santa Maria, Cabalitasan says this career makes her feel connected to the community. She makes herself available at all hours to provide care for those who can’t go out and see their providers. “We have a nurse on call, 24/7 as a resource for our patients,” said Cabalitasan.

Despite the overtime, she says she sometimes forgets that she is at work, because her patients almost feel like family.

Santa Maria continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County. Cabalitasan uses her home health visits to also teach patients and their families how to protect themselves against the virus.

“You get to take your time with patients, you get to know the person,” said Cabalitasan. “You get to be in a very intimate setting in the patients home with their families. So not only are you educating the patient, you are educating the family.”

She adds that the education goes both way, and she benefits as well.

“Although I am teaching them, I’ve learned that our patients are resilient. And I take that home with me everyday and it shows me that this is why I am doing what I do.”

Watch Cabalitasan's story tonight on 'Looking for the Helpers' at 6:30pm.

Know of any other helpers making a difference during these trying times? Send us an email and let us know!

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Genelle Padilla


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