Anyone dealing with an ongoing health issue knows it is challenging. It includes tasks like medication management, keeping track of troubling symptoms and numerous follow-up appointments. On top of everything, there are financial to-dos like figuring out medicine costs and insurance coverage.
Situations like this is where a nurse like Angie Evatt, RN, can make a real difference. As a community care manager, Angie connects patients with resources such as education, transportation, and medication assistance or referrals. Her goal is to prevent the need for a hospital stay by ensuring a smooth transition home or to a different level of care.
Connecting the dots
Angie’s role can be described as part nurse, part traffic controller and part cheerleader.
Angie says the aspect of her role she enjoys most is, “just being an encouragement to let others know that there is someone out there who cares and wants to help them live their best life.”
Angie’s clients are typically individuals at high risk for returning to the hospital. Usually they’re referred to her by the hospital when being discharged, but sometimes a family doctor will reach out on a patient’s behalf.
Angie says the first 48 hours after a patient leaves a hospital are critical. Thus, community care managers try to speak with a patient within one to two days.
“We make sure they understand their discharge instructions, we help to make sure they’re able to get any new prescriptions filled and that there aren’t cost barriers there, and we clarify how they take their medications,” says Angie.
Other tasks Angie helps with are getting referrals for any home health care or medical equipment. She also makes sure follow-up appointments have been scheduled and transportation needs are covered. Most importantly, Angie makes sure patients have her contact information if they have questions.
Community care managers generally work with patients for one to three months, depending on their needs. However, Angie likes to be available longer if she’s needed.
She always tells her patients to “save my number! Even if it’s six months down the road, I’m here to answer your questions.”
Finding her calling
With an interest in chemistry and how the body works, as well as job experience at a drug store, it seemed natural for Angie to choose pharmacy as her college major. But when she realized she had more strengths in communication than chemistry, she changed direction and went to nursing school.
“I saw with pharmacy you’re really kind of standing behind a counter rather than being able to communicate as much with patients,” she explains.
Angie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, and 23 years later she still refers to nursing as her calling. Working for an organization like Bon Secours has been an especially good fit.
“Part of our mission is to be good help to those in need,” Angie explains to her patients, who receive her services at no cost.
Angie enjoys listening to patients, encouraging them, and simply letting them know they have someone they can call.
“One thing I’ve always loved about Catholic health ministry is that it’s not always body, but also mind and spirit,” Angie adds.
At Bon Secours, we truly appreciate our highly skilled and passionate nurses. Read about Luis Figueroa, a labor and delivery nurse.