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 on the frontlines―continuing to serve, 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 patient will wait for the care they need.
We’re pleased to feature Dana Wilson, RN, Assoc. Director Health Systems, who has more than 24 years of experience working in healthcare. Dana has also worked as a clinical account executive, a medical sales professional—and as a registered nurse, she managed direct patient care in the intensive care unit at Norton Audubon Hospital.
Growing up, I was surrounded by the medical profession – my Dad is a recently retired dentist and my Stepmom, also recently retired, is an OR Nurse. From a young age, I was drawn to being a caregiver and was intrigued by the science of the human body. I had so much respect for the nursing profession growing up – it was a natural progression! I treasure my nursing licensure and will always keep it active. It allows me to be part of interesting volunteer opportunities in my hometown. A part of me still misses patient care at times…
The intensity, stress and workload all seem to be so much higher than when I was at the bedside. Although many processes are now more convenient (electronic charting, for example), it seems that nurses are pulled to do so many other things that take them away from the actual patient. The entire shift has a feeling of hurry, hurry, hurry. I distinctly remember having time to spend with not only the patient, but also their families.
Continual expectations to do more with less. Staffing seems to be a critical issue across the board at every hospital. The nurses who stay and try to manage are at such high risk for burnout when they do not have the resources that they need. Pressure to hurry lends itself to errors, causing nurses to put their licensure at risk.
I’m honestly not sure—the financial component is a driver of course and has made retention very difficult for some sites. It’s such a rewarding career—but it’s also intimidating and exhausting as we are seeing right now with the COVID pandemic. I truly think nursing is a calling, but I am not sure what the current crisis will do as far as attracting people to the profession. I have dear friends who still work on the frontline and I’m so thankful for them. The profession is getting more respect and attention now due to the pandemic, but that needs to continue!
There were so many—the way that the families truly let you into their lives is so humbling. We are there for them in their darkest as well as their happiest times. I took care of a beautiful young woman once with an acute brain injury—she was in our unit for over a month. She had an amazing and supportive family that eventually brought her back to visit us—she wanted to surprise her main caregivers with special necklaces. The best thank you though was seeing her walk in, supported only by her cane, to give us all hugs!
Nurses need to know that they are truly valued! Many do not realize what goes on behind the scenes in the daily life of a nurse to keep patient treatment on track. Besides the obvious direct patient care, there is also the emotional support for the patient and their family, keeping proper documentation of all activities, managing communication/being a liaison with physicians, stopping to attend training for another new product, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, they are physically and emotionally exhausted.
Ultimately, it’s reducing the delays that prevent a patient from getting the care that they need! I wish that the hospital where I used to work would have had the benefits of TeleTracking. To name a few:
**The data that our clients can pull from our analytics platform is key to driving process improvement, identifying trends, setting goals and then monitoring progress.
The Command Center model is the goal of so many of our clients now—there are many different versions of command centers from small to large scale and all are effective.
Seeing bed capacity and availability across the system is invaluable when you’re trying to respond quickly—every minute truly matters when you are bringing a patient in for care. From site to site, we see clients customizing which disciplines are operating through their Command Center for the most effective collaboration across a system. At the end of the day, clients just want to always be able to say yes to a need for a patient transfer. The visibility from our Transfer Center helps to make that happen!
Dana Wilson, RN, is an Associate Director of Health Systems with TeleTracking where she is responsible for helping health systems achieve operational efficiency and growth through the implementation of best practices. Prior to that role, Dana worked as a Clinical Account Executive at Gentiva Health Services, an Account Clinical Director at Hill-Rom and a Registered Nurse at Norton Audubon Hospital.