We started this blog series in January as a way to recognize the nurses that we have the honor of working with every dayand to be a part of the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.” We always knew that nurses around the globe deliver kind, compassionate care to patients in their times of greatest need—they hold the hand of an elderly patient; dry the tears of a frightened child; and comfort grieving family members. With the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and all healthcare professionals are serving bravely on the frontlinescontinuing to assist, continuing to deliver care and continuing to be there for their communities during the greatest public health crisis in a century. Our sincerest thanks to the nurses who are working hard—under very difficult conditions—to ensure that no one waits for the care they need. 

This month, we are pleased to celebrate Angie LongDNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, Advisory Consultantwho brings extensive clinical and executive management experience to her role of helping TeleTracking clients develop a strong framework for change management and process redesign. 

Angie Long - year Long celebration of nurses

1. Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I knew at an early age that my passion for helping people would lead me into the field of healthcare. I wanted a career that was challenging, interesting, and would make a difference in people's daily lives. I enjoy building relationships and having the opportunity to positively impact both patients and the overall community 

2. What are the biggest differences you’ve seen in the profession since you started your career?

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry and work diligently on the front lines every day developing solutions to make the system work better. The day-to-day realities of their jobs, however, have dramatically changed over the last few years.  

Nurses now have a VOICE—and with a core role as a patient advocate, nurses are ideally placed to play important roles in delivering health services, as well as leading decision making and policy development. We have played an active role in helping our profession transform and evolve to the point of becoming allied partners in the healthcare community. And we know that it takes a cohesive team to deliver patient care effectively.  

Nurses have also been focused on advancing their education, which has led to increased responsibilities and taking on more patient obligations. This change is especially true with advanced practice nurses.  

In addition, nurses have access to opportunities that did not historically existnew specialties, increased leadership opportunities, and the use of telemedicine and other information technologyThe bottom line is nursing has changed in the past ten years and will continue to change. 

3. What is the biggest challenge(s) facing nurses today?

There are several challenges facing nurses today: 

  • Inadequate staffing: Being short-staffed for brief periods of time is common in most professions—and for most, it’s simply a minor inconvenience. Unfortunately, in nursing, inadequate staffing can be a matter of life or death. Staffing shortages can mean long hours for nurses—leading to an impact on the safety and quality of patient care, an increased number of injuriesand negative outcomes. The well-being of the nursing team is also impacted due to stress, fatigue and the ability to think critically.  
  • Increasing roles and responsibilities: Nurses workloads and responsibilities have continued to increase, possibly leading to job dissatisfaction and burn outHowever, nurses are caring by nature and will always work to deliver safe and high-quality care to their patients.   
  • Workplace violence: Nurses face an increased risk of workplace violence, primarily from their patients, clients, and/or residents. Nurses see patients in their most vulnerable stateswhich can increase this unfortunate risk. 

4. What do you think can be done to solve the nursing shortage?

We need to focus on the number of educators available to teach new nurses. Currently, there are not enough educators to meet the future demands of the nursing workforce. A solution may be to incentivize educators to share their knowledge and experiences.  

As we continue seeking BSN-prepared nurses to fill open roleswe need to offer seasoned nurses who do not have this degree the flexibility and assistance to obtain it. Continuing education courses is another vital way to help nurses expand their professional knowledge and gain new skills. The challenge, however, is the fact that nurses are already being asked to work long hoursoften with not enough staffing in placeThat means there is little time for education and professional development, with the costs and burdens of obtaining a BSN continuing to be a struggle for many nurses.   

5. Share a patient story that has impacted you personally.

I often joked throughout my career that I could write a book! 

On a daily basis there have been patients that have impacted me both professionally and personally. Early in my career though, I had a pediatric oncology patient who was receiving his treatment alone. His parents had to work and had other children to care for. This little boy understood his disease and what was happening better than most adults. He was just five, but he taught me so much about humanity and death—something that left a lasting impression on me. Although, I was able to make a small difference in his life, he had no idea what a huge difference he made in mine. 

6. The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Why is this type of recognition so important?

Most nurses do not strive for notoriety or recognition—all they want is for their patients to have positive outcomes and make a difference in someone’s day!  It is the little things that matter in the day-to-day life of a nurse.   

There is a lot more to this multifaceted career path than what is portrayed on TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy.  In a world where it seems money is the only measures that people look at, nurses are PROUD to know they matter and that they are making a difference in their patient’s lives. 

7. How does TeleTracking help nurses and other health professionals deliver a better patient experience?

By increasing bed capacity and smoothing the workflow related to patient careTeleTracking provides nurses with the ability to ensure safer and more efficient care to all patientsTeleTracking creates efficiencies for team members by decreasing redundant work, resulting in less wait time for patientsallowing them to receive care in a timely manner

8. How are TeleTracking’s health system command centers helping improve access across the care continuum? 

Command Centers create a level of visibility that healthcare systems have never had before.  The ability to communicate patient information across the system in an effective manner is transforming healthcare as we know it today. 

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About the Expert

Angie LongAngie Long, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC 

Consultant, Advisory Services 

Angie Long brings extensive clinical and executive management experience to her role as an advisory consultant in TeleTracking's Advisory Services. Her experience and education in healthcare system leadership, regulatory compliance and clinical operations provide the framework for change management and process redesign.  

Angie has served in various clinical and senior leadership positions, with a focus on clinical operations and care delivery. In her previous role, she had executive oversight of organizational patient care delivery, quality improvement and served as the Patient Safety Officer/Risk Manager. Dr. Long's doctorate work was focused on patient flow and safety, integrating evidence-based practices to influence outcomes.  

Additionally, Angie serves as a Visiting Professor at the Chamberlain College of Nursing, teaching evidenced practice and research and transitions of practice to nursing students. She holds a Bachelor's degree in nursing from Ohio University, a Master's degree in nursing/business/healthcare administration from Phoenix University, a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Chamberlain University. She is certified as a Nurse Executive at the Advanced Level and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

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