Healthcare does not end when you are discharged from the hospital.
For many, it is a long and challenging journey ahead, and professional care and support are needed at every step along the way.
Yvonne Braithwaite-Superville realised this untapped need in Trinidad and Tobago for private nursing care and rental of medical equipment.
Yvonne, a registered nurse by profession, is the owner and founder of Rovon Home Health Care and Rovoneire MediSpa, located in Carenage, west Trinidad. Services are provided throughout Trinidad, and also in Tobago through the Calder Hall Medical Centre; Washington, D.C. and Miami in the United States of America.
“Patients still need so much when they are discharged from the hospital, and often they can’t afford to buy all the equipment to assist with their recuperation, particularly when it may only be needed for a short time, e.g. after a surgery,” explains Yvonne.
“Also, having to care for someone takes a massive toll on the well-being of the family — that is where we come in.”
Rovon Home Health Care Limited has been providing 24 hours private nursing services for the past twelve (12) years at Private Nursing Institutions and patients’ residences, as well as rentals for medical equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, crutches, and oxygen concentrators.
Nurses trained in Intensive Critical Care can manage a patient on a ventilator at their home, making sure that the patient gets optimal care for their illnesses and injuries. Their specialised skills and their in-depth knowledge of the human body, together with the use of the latest technology in the field, enable the nurses to provide reliable medical care of the highest quality.
“We understand this need and also provide nurse escort services when a very ill patient has to travel abroad to seek further medical treatment; they are accompanied by their caregivers,” Yvonne adds.
From nurse to entrepreneur
Healthcare and wellness were always part of Yvonne’s nature.
“I always had a love for it — as a child, I would be playing nurse and doctor, tying up a kitten’s foot,” she reminisces, laughing.
Whereas most of her colleagues in nursing chose the security of employment in the public sector, Yvonne had always had an entrepreneurial spirit.
“Even as a young girl, I would make fudge, sugar cake and other sweets, and sell at school,” she says.
“For me, business was less about having a formal business education, and more about common sense. You have to survey the market, and enter into something that is not already saturated — with my background in nursing, that was home health care.”
Determined to service Tobago as well as Trinidad, Yvonne sought the most appropriate way to enter the market on the sister island.
“I had the unfortunate experience of having to commute my staff back and forth, before I realised I really needed to set up shop in Tobago,” she says.
“And, as Tobago is very tourist-oriented, I knew tourists may want services beyond healthcare, such as spa services. With my background in nursing, I didn’t just want to have ‘a spa’; there is a medical need for such services — massage therapy, detoxification, chromotherapy, and so on.”
This led to the birth, three years ago, of Rovoneire MediSpa, a medical spa with a difference: providing aromatherapy, reflexology and various types of massage therapy, as well as podology treatments.
Healthcare & MediSpa Services
Rovon Home Health Care & Rovoneire MediSpa provide services for patients of all ages — and currently has patients ranging from under one year old, right up to 96.
The staff, most of which operate on a part-time basis based on the need, currently stands at 42 persons; and is made up of registered nurses (RNs), Enrolled Nursing Assistants (ENAs), Nurse’s aides, and certified massage therapists including two reflexologists.
Rovon Home Health Care provides:
- Personal/home support services
- Private nursing care
- Patient escort
- Post-surgical care
- Private nursing assessments
- Paediatric care
- Tracheostomy care
- Vital sign monitoring
- Naso-gastric and Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding
- Wound management
- Care of the elderly
- Medication administration and management
Specialty services are also provided to companies for health fairs, sports days and special events, such as:
- Blood pressure testing
- Diabetic and cholesterol screening
- Body Mass Index (BMI) testing
- Drug testing
Rovoneire MediSpa provides mobile and in-house therapeutic massage therapy including:
- A personalised massage based on the patient’s need after suffering from cancer, diabetes, depression, stroke, etc.
- On site chair massages
- Massage for corporate events
- Swedish massage
- Lymphatic drainage
- Deep tissue
- Hot stone
- Paraffin treatment
“We offer therapy at our location, or we can bring the spa to you,” explains Yvonne.
“We always make sure we understand why the person wants a massage, so that we can prepare the oils based on this need. Also, for corporate events, we ensure that we understand the theme and layout prior to the day, so that we can organise accordingly and integrate seamlessly into the event.”
Educating and inspiring others
As her home healthcare and medical spa business continues to thrive both locally and internationally, Yvonne aims to move away from the nursing aspect of her own personal career endeavours in order to focus on podology, the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disease, injuries and defects of the foot.
She is a Certified Master Pedicurist, and is looking forward to completing her degree in Podology through the North American School of Podology.
“There are many amputations happening in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean, and this is because people are simply not taking care of their feet, especially those diagnosed with diabetes and Peripheral vascular disease,” she explains.
“Education and awareness can make a huge impact on one’s life, helping to prevent complications that can lead to amputations. This is where I believe I can make the difference: as an educator.”
This desire to educate can be seen in her business — she has nurtured the careers of many others over the years, and consistently mentors and encourages her staff to achieve as much as they can.
“I encourage my nurse’s aides to use this opportunity as a stepping stone into something greater, a way to test the waters before making that jump, whether it is to jump into this full time, or even to start their own nursing agency,” she says.
“The competition doesn’t bother me; I thrive on it and welcome it.”
It is a jump that many are afraid to make, but Yvonne hopes that her story can inspire others.
“When I left my nursing job to pursue my dream, I started with literally nothing, operating in my living room,” says Yvonne.
“I did not want to take a huge loan, so I always reinvested whatever profit into my business. And I never looked back — I refuse to have that fear that cripples so many of us.”
She encourages others to pursue their dreams, particularly young people.
“You can work for yourself, you can have your own business, and you can do what you love and make it financially sustainable,” she says.
“Don’t let anyone make you believe that you have to work for someone else. If you love to cook — test the market, take a chance. Do not be afraid — the sky is the limit.”
For more information, visit www.rovontt.com. You can also contact Rovon at 1 (868) 694-0866/1 (868) 635-1623/1 (868) 755-7059/1 (868) 350-2993 or via email at [email protected] . Also check out the Facebook pages for Rovon Home Health Care and Rovoneire MediSpa.
What You Need to Know
- Nursing services range from TT$35-95 per hour, based on the category of nurses and the severity of the illness the nurse has to manage.
- Rental prices for medical equipment begin from TT$315 per week – TT$1,100 per month (28 days) for a manual hospital bed [deposit: TT$1050], and TT$345 per week – TT$1,265 per month (28 days) for an O2 concentrator [deposit: TT$900]. Please contact Rovon Home Health Care directly for other rental costs.
- MediSpa services range from TT$175-525, depending on the area the service is needed and the type of massage required.
- Chair massage group rates are offered at TT$350 per hour for 4-8 persons ranging from 5-15 mins per person (mininum 2 hours) for on-site visits, and at TT$75 per person for 15 mins at Rovon in-house.