In honor of the first ever Ambulatory Care Nursing Week, we spoke with some of our ambulatory nurses across the Brigham to learn more about what makes ambulatory nursing so remarkable.
“Ambulatory nursing is so special because the bond that we share with our patients is remarkable. My patients are like family to me. They check in on me just as much as I check in on them. Recognition week for ambulatory nursing is an honor. To be able to highlight the amazing work that is done in this outpatient setting is beyond important. Your critical thinking skills are put to the test every day since we are often the first line of communication to assess, triage, advocate and support both our patients’ and their families’ concerns. Ambulatory nurses have the confidence, knowledge and ability to advise the best care for their patients, applying nursing intervention skills that are focused on patient safety.”
– Sybil Bleus, BSN, RN, Post-Transplant Coordinator, Renal Transplant Program
“Ambulatory nursing is one of the most rewarding nursing experiences I’ve had in my 45 years as a nurse because our patients and their families really appreciate all that we do for them.
We build long-term relationships with our patients, and they know we do all we can to help. I really believe it comes down to trust, and that trust is taken very seriously by the whole team. When we speak with our patients, you can hear the stress level immediately drop in their voice.”
– Irene Cooper, RN, CHFN, Center for Advanced Heart Disease
“Ambulatory nurses develop relationships and trust with our patients. The level of commitment to our practice and the level of trust between us is invaluable. We are engaged in triage, education, emotional support and the navigation and implementation of care plans. Our group has created many beneficial programs for our patients over the years because nurses saw a need, so doctors and management supported that growth. The Oncofertility Program, for example, was built with eight hours a week of staff support for young cancer patients who needed to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing possibly sterilizing treatment for various cancer diagnoses. The program now offers 32 hours of staff support each week for these patients. We have been asked to represent our work on both a local and national level so that other facilities can learn from our practice. This is emotional and fulfilling work, and I’m very proud to be part of what started this wonderful ambulatory program. So many young men and women have benefited and moved on after cancer treatment to begin their families. It is extremely rewarding to get those messages, photos and phone calls.”
– Tricia Kennedy, RN, Oncofertility Program Coordinator, Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery
“Ambulatory nurses are entrusted with the responsibility of caring for patients from all walks of life. We promote wellness, care for the sick and are the connection between the patient and the provider, in addition to guiding them through the complexities of our healthcare system. Preventive care is the reason why I love ambulatory nursing, as the goal is to keep the patient from severe disease. Assessing the patient’s health literacy allows me to tailor the patient instructions in a manner that the patient can relate to and understand the information, in addition to creating everlasting patient relationships. Ambulatory nurses encourage, advocate, and share their fountain of knowledge with patients in hopes of developing a healthier lifestyle that will benefit their physical and mental health. It makes me happy and proud that this week is dedicated to the specialty that is ambulatory nursing.”
– Darlin Liriano, BSN, RN, Nurse Flow Manager, Brookside Community Health Center
“Ambulatory nursing allows us to connect with patients and their families at a level that’s unique to our setting. I’ve worked in many different settings and nursing specialties, and ambulatory nursing is by far the riskiest because, many times, like when telephone triaging, I don’t have the patient right in front of me. This recognition week allows us to speak about what we do and inform other nurses who are interested in learning more about ambulatory nursing. It means inclusion in the nursing world of specialties.”
– Wendy C. Ortiz, MSN, BSN, RN, Triage Staff Nurse, Brookside Community Health Center
“I am constantly striving to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions while at the same time providing the level of service each patient deserves and expects. Ambulatory nurses can be leaders in the transformation of health care. We promote the safe and efficient delivery of care and have a huge impact on patient outcomes. We are integral in identifying and clarifying patient needs, conducting health education, promoting patient advocacy and coordinating all aspects of other specialties.”
– Cynthia Shattuck BSN, RN-BC, Cardiac Transplant Coordinator