Every day, we are reminded of the great team we have, from our top-notch nurses and diligent dispatchers to our reliable business office staff. We are truly grateful to everyone for your support!
We are acutely aware of how busy you have been in the past months. The pandemic continues to persistently challenge the entire healthcare industry, and Night Nurse is no exception. The increased demand for after-hours triage has meant long and consistently busy shifts for our telehealth providers.
Thank you for your tremendous effort and your endurance in helping us honor our commitment to the MDs and their patients! They rely on each of us, tasked with steps on the way, leading to patient care advice.
We have taken action, and we are exploring all methods to relieve the workload-related pressure. We have accelerated recruitment efforts and modified our call handling process to lighten everyone’s loads. Our RNs may have already noticed a difference, since deactivating 15 minutes sooner. Night Nurse is ramping up our staffing toward anticipated seasonal call increases as well. Children are back in school, the Delta variant continues to flourish, and the upcoming flu season along with RSV, makes this a daunting task. We are looking around the corner and we are actively preparing. Our goal is to be overstaffed.
Please also take a moment to celebrate our successes! We are delighted and so proud to share some of the cheerful and encouraging notes we’ve received from patients and colleagues that praise our deserving, talented team. This newsletter also includes an update on new advances in the ever-expanding NLC states, and we pay homage to Hispanic Heritage Month.
THANK YOU again for your individual best efforts and dedicated teamwork! We deeply appreciate your professionalism and resilience as we work behind the scenes to mitigate COVID-related volume surges. We are confident we will address pandemic challenges together, until the COVID crisis is behind us.
Tami and Stu
Welcome New Night Nurse Team Members!
We’ve hired many more new nurses! It’s always nice to put a name with a face, so here are some of our new team members:
We’ve also hired more dispatchers to help manage our busy triage workflow. As you know, dispatchers are the vital link between nurses, answering services, and MDs. Our dispatchers do such a great job of connecting and supporting everyone, so our hats go off to Jill and her team! This month we welcome new dispatchers Tienchai Phongkanphay and Rosa Disla to our growing team!
Thanks to all for joining us to provide timely triage coverage service with good patient outcomes!
We welcome these nurses and dispatchers to our Night Nurse family with wishes for best success!
KAREN HOLLAND - PROMOTED TO DIRECTOR OF PEDIATRIC NURSING
Let’s all congratulate Karen Holland on her promotion to Director of Pediatric Nursing! Karen will report directly to our Chief Nursing Officer, Tami Regan. Karen will courageously oversee our entire pediatric nursing staff, recruit new RNs, supervise performance evaluations, and develop RN clinical training processes, among many other new responsibilities. Karen is a dedicated professional who will work to ensure our valued pediatric nurses have a productive and satisfying Night Nurse experience.
Karen joined our Night Nurse Family in December 2008 as a pediatric triage nurse. In just a few short months, her exceptional work shone bright, and she earned the promotion to Compact State-Regional RN Manager. At first, Night Nurse offered service in only four compact states. Through the last 13 years, Karen’s Compact RN team has grown, and her responsibilities proliferated as Night Nurse scaled to represent practices in almost all compact states. Karen is also, our astute Nursing Licensing Coordinator.
A MESSAGE FROM CNO-TAMI REGAN - KAREN’S LEADERSHIP: YOU ARE IN GREAT HANDS!
“Through thick and thin with Night Nurse, Karen is a steadfast leader. She is fair and there for you to call upon for guidance and support. Karen has triage and management experience and is dedicated to delivering safe, high quality telephone triage care. She earned this authority for taking on an immense responsibility. I have great faith in Karen, and fully trust she will be “keeping her finger on the pulse” (i.e. Nursing’s heartbeat) to keep our Nurses humming along through all the best, and hopefully much less of the worst of times in Normal Sinus (EKG) Rhythm. Please work closely and kindly in step and conversations with Karen. Remember: Benign PACs ectopy (extra heart beats) just like hiccups can happen, and then it goes away. If something is wrong, Karen is going to want to fix it. If you have symptoms do tell her; she can help!”
RECOGNIZING EXCELLENT WORK
We know that everyone is doing a great job caring for patients each day. Occasionally, some of the patients take the time to write us letters of appreciation for outstanding service. Here are a couple we received in the past 30 days:
In praise of RN Erin Bevivino
Here is part of a nice letter we received about Erin:
I am writing this letter to commend the service I received from Erin Bevivino on my recent contact with your agency. Having called my primary care physician after hours I was told a night nurse would get back to me shortly. Expecting to hear from a nurse at their office, I was pleasantly surprised when Erin returned my call and informed me of the triage nurse services available to me.
Erin exemplified all the expertise necessary to further assist my decision making process. First and foremost, her delightful manner put me immediately at ease. She asked me to describe my symptoms and demonstrated active listening skills as I spoke. Throughout our conversation, Erin demonstrated a sincere desire to assist me. She was professional, patient, knowledgeable, and thorough in her explanations. When we ended the call, she kindly informed me there would be other nurses available to assist me after her shift ended at nine pm.
In Praise of Jessie Blanchard
Here’s an excerpt from a nice letter sent by a patient:
I want to go on record that the nurse that tried to help me yesterday, Sunday 7/25, was Great! Her name is Jessie. My prescription did not go into the Walgreens Rx as planned. The pharmacist called the doctor's office and no one called him back. I am now out of my pain med - this was an urgent issue...
I spoke to Jessie and told her about why I take the pain med I need refilled and I told her about the other meds I take... I had the idea to take my med for sleep early so I would go to sleep and not be aware of the pain I was in - Jessie thought that idea was a good one. I told her she was "wonderful," and I wanted to let her employer know. She was kind and caring and had empathy.
MORE GREAT AT-HOME NURSING JOBS AVAILABLE!
We love adding new members to our Night Nurse family! Night Nurse has become a highly desirable job, and we have a flood of new applicants each day. Nurses like yourself are excited for the opportunity to work from the safety and comfort of their own homes, and we are happy to meet them.
Do you have an RN, APRN, and NP friend who might like to be a home-based telephone triage nurse? We’re looking for experienced adult and pediatric nurses, with both part-time and full-time positions available. You could earn cash incentives for referring new colleagues. Please invite them to contact us directly or to visit our online Careers Center here.
Also, Night Nurse has full-time and management positions available. We always prefer to hire within, so please let us know if you’re interested in growth opportunities for yourself!
DISPATCH POSITIONS ARE ALSO OPEN!
We’re also hiring more dispatchers! We’re looking for great communicators to support nurses, providers, and answering services. Do you have a resourceful front desk person at your practice or hospital that might be interested in part-time work on weekends or evenings? Please let us know. All new dispatchers must live near our headquarters in Framingham, MA. We’d love to meet your administrative colleagues!
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: RN STEPHANIE CROSBY
At just four years old, Stephanie Crosby knew two things for sure. Growing up in a sleepy little town north of Gainesville, Florida, she knew she wanted to branch out and see more of the country. And more important than escaping her quiet town with just three stoplights, this preschooler knew she wanted to care for children. Stephanie initially thought about being a pediatrician, but later discovered a love for nursing and that confirmed her career goal.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do! I have always loved children and wanted to care for them. Now more than ever, I’m confident that I was put on Earth to be a pediatric RN.”
With a clear direction in place, Stephanie went to nursing school and gained her first experiences working in a pediatrician’s office when not in class. After she graduated, she still had the urge to travel. Her next destination after school was Tennessee. Stephanie’s family was also ready for a move, so they all went together.
Working at a hospital in Tennessee, Stephanie served in the pediatric medical surgery department, and then she discovered her specialty when she was cross-trained in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Since then, Stephanie has served as a PICU nurse for most of her career.
Stephanie’s expanded skill set was in high demand, which allowed her to pursue her other passion: Exploring new places. She embarked on a career as a travel nurse, working in Panama City Beach, Florida, then in Charlotte, North Carolina.
At the onset of the pandemic, Stephanie decided to settle down and explore a new direction, remote triaging. She worked with us for a short period in 2018, but it wasn’t the right fit for her at the time. With the hospital environment changing rapidly, Stephanie favored the safety and comfort of working from home as the best choice. She moved into her current home in East Tennessee and re-connected with Night Nurse.
“I met Night Nurse RN Melissa Veach when we worked together in the PICU at a hospital in Knoxville. We kept in touch, and she reminded me of the great opportunity to work at Night Nurse. So I reached out to Pediatric Nurse Manager Karen Holland to get started again.”
Stephanie re-joined us as a full-time compact pediatric nurse, and we are so happy to have her on our team! Her years of nursing in so many different environments and conditions are of great benefit to our pediatric patients and their caregivers.
“When working in hospitals, I learned something new every day. I honestly didn’t expect to learn as much working from home, but it has been a pleasant surprise! Each day with Night Nurse, I’m able to grow my skills and increase my knowledge. I have gained a true appreciation for triage nursing and how rewarding it is. I am blessed to work with everyone at Night Nurse.”
“Another unexpected benefit has been the relationships I’ve built with my colleagues. I didn’t know I could become so close with people who work so far away.”
Stephanie is a dedicated team player, and is known to recognize others for their contributions. In particular, she recently expressed her appreciation for our dispatch team:
“I would like to take a moment to pour out my appreciation and gratitude for our dispatch team members, particularly Jill and Lori. Both these women have worked to foster a professional relationship with me, as a newcomer to Night Nurse and have facilitated in making the transition into this role very rewarding. They are kind, patient, understanding, and hard workers. They are always prompt with responses when I need them, and they have gone above and beyond to help me provide high quality patient care, time and again.
I have always been a steadfast advocate for teamwork, and I am confident that I could not effectively perform my job, without their expertise. I know when they are working, I am in good hands, as well as our patients!
Both Jill and Lori go beyond the call of duty to ensure nurses get breaks and can leave on time. Dispatch, as a whole, has been helpful, but I wanted to sing the praise of Jill and Lori for their continued commitment to our mission and all the ways they have had a hand in carrying the load of our work.”
Spoken like a true professional and dedicated team player!
When she’s not triaging, Stephanie enjoys exercising. She developed her interest in fitness while in high school, and it remains an important part of her day. She works out in her home gym, lifts weights, and enjoys yoga. “The key to yoga is self-discipline. Holding difficult poses is sometimes more about growing mentally than physically, which is very exciting to me.”
Stephanie is also passionate about food. She developed a love for cooking and baking in middle school, and has come up with clever modifications too many recipes. “I like to put a twist on old favorites to make them more healthy. Even comfort foods can be made more nutrient-dense, and I love cooking these meals for guests.”
Through her travels, Stephanie had the opportunity to try all kinds of restaurants in many different places. This confirmed foodie noted, “I believe that food is an experience, not just sustenance. I greatly appreciate the art of fine cuisine, and I love trying new restaurants everywhere I go.”
Stephanie recently achieved the milestone birthday of 30 years old, and she celebrated in style! “I love Charlotte. It’s a beautiful and fun city, so that’s where I wanted to be for my birthday. My mom and I went on a girl’s trip, staying in an amazing condo overlooking the city.”
“We had such a great time enjoying the pool, shopping, and of course eating! One fun but often overlooked place in Charlotte is the Shake Shack. It’s surprisingly good food, and I recommend that everyone try it.!”
“Most of all, I treasured the time I spent with my mom. My family is very important to me, and I love to share a meal with them whenever possible.” At her new place in Tennessee, Stephanie’s parents are nearby. She also likes to visit her brother and his family in Florida whenever possible.
With so many great experiences and places she’s enjoyed, Stephanie has decided to settle in rather than continue her role as a traveling nurse. “These days, I’m just taking one day at a time. I want to build a long future with Night Nurse.”
In closing, we asked Stephanie to share some wisdom from her career so far. “Perhaps my greatest professional lesson from working in so many PICUs is to ask myself this question: How can I serve the next person in my path right now? We sometimes get lost in trying to handle everything. Instead, I focus on how I can best meet the needs of the person in front of me.”
“On a personal level, I make sure to focus on gratefulness every day. I am very thankful for everything in my life. “
Thank you, Stephanie! We are very grateful to have you in our Night Nurse Family!
CELEBRATING ROSH HASHANAH AND YOM KIPPUR
This year, September hosts the holy Jewish month of Tishri. This is when 13 days of special religious significance occur, particularly the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashana, best known as the Jewish New Year, began on the evening of September 6th and concluded at sunset on September 8th. 2021 is the year 5782. Rosh Hashana celebrates renewal, marking the first day of Earth’s creation. It begins a 10-day period that culminates with Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur begins tonight, the evening of September 15 and ends at sunset tomorrow September 16. It is the most significant day in the Jewish religion, and the most holy of the High Holidays. This sacred day recognizes when Moses descended from Mount Sinai to request God’s forgiveness for the Israelites. The holiday’s name comes from the word Yom, which is “day” in Hebrew, and Kippur, is “to atone.” Hence, Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Jewish people take this day to reflect on the past year and decide how to improve in the coming year.
We wish a Happy Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to our Jewish Sisters and Brothers!
CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month occurs from September 15 through October 15. The event celebrates the histories and cultures of the diverse American Latino community. Some Americans honored in this month include those of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, El Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, and Colombian ancestry, as well as dozens of other Latinx nationalities.
This month of celebration was initiated in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson as just a single week. Two decades later, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded it to 30 days.
Hispanic Heritage Month is different from most celebratory periods because it begins in the middle of a month, rather than the first. This is because September 15 commemorates the independence of multiple Latin American countries, followed by Mexico’s independence on September 16 and Chile’s independence on September 18.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) continues its momentum for the greater good of patients. In our last newsletter, we reported that Vermont enacted NLC legislation. Since then, two additional states have also committed to join the compact.
On July 1, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that brought Ohio into the NLC. The law takes effect on January 1, 2023. On the same day, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed NLC legislation into law. Next, state officials will decide which date NLC status will be enacted.
38 states and the U.S. territory of Guam are now in the compact. Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and Michigan, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all actively considering NLC legislation. One location at a time, we’re getting closer to unified licensing regulations.
PROGRESS AGAINST THE COVID PANDEMIC
The fourth wave of COVID is taking its toll on people of all ages across the country. The CDC has developed a highly visual COVID tracker with many insightful charts and graphs. Many experts endorse the practice of a third dose at either six or eight months after the second shot. In fact, CNBC reports that nearly one million booster shots have already been administered. Please be sure to utilize our COVID protocols, as needed, to ensure all are cared for appropriately.
QUICK TIPS: HOW TO LOG ANCILLARY CALLS
Many RNs have asked about how to properly log ancillary calls. The concept of ancillary calls is a unique, Night Nurse-specific approach to help our practices reduce their service costs. We do not charge full per-call costs for ancillary calls. Ancillary calls are billed at a much lower rate. It is important to log ancillary calls correctly to deliver this cost savings, to reflect on the extra time you are required to spend making multiple calls, and to appreciate the communication involved in triaging.
There are more than a dozen options in the encounter report the drop-down menu, and most are self-explanatory. However, we’ve heard some RNs would like more clarity on when to choose "Repeat Caller" versus “Mult. Contacts.” This article will help explain the differences.
Please note: This brief story is not intended to replace your training or supersede our policies! It’s just a quick refresher on when to use these particular codes.
• Repeat Caller: Select this if you receive a second call from the same patient after triage was completed and the call is now back in process.
• Mult. Contacts: Select this option when there are three or more ancillary calls associated with the triage encounter.
Have a question you’d like answered? We can help! Send your question to us and we’ll cover it in our next Quick Tips section.
100% FICTIONAL FUNNIES
Did you hear about the dermatologist that started her career from scratch?
A patient concerned about hearing loss met with his doctor. The MD asked him to describe the symptoms. After repeating her question a few times, the patient responded, “Well, Marge has blue hair, Homer likes doughnuts, and Lisa plays the saxophone.”
A nurse was talking with a patient suffering from heartburn. It seems his condition returned every time he ate birthday cake. After asking several triage questions, the nurse advised the patient to remove the candles next time.
PEAK WINTER CALL VOLUME IN THE SUMMER-COVID TOPSY TURVY!
Summer is typically our slowest time of year. However, in the summer of 2021 with the pandemic still raging, patients needed you more than ever before. We will forever remember you, the nurses, preceptors, and dispatchers that rose to the occasion and made sure every call was handled and every patient was helped. We appreciate any and all the extra hours, and the extra care you put into the healthcare of so many others - the very sick and the only worried sick callers. Your help is tremendous.
We invite you to reach out to us at any time. We’d love to hear about your experiences and your ideas on how to make your job and all we do at Night Nurse be done even better! What do you suggest?