Have you ever had a “female” question but you’re not sure if it warrants a trip to the OB/GYN? A question specific to your own body or situation – not something you want to let Google answer for you? Something you wish you could talk about over the phone with someone knowledgeable, get some quick advice or reassurance, and/or find out whether you really need to come in?
VPFW has a team of experienced phone nurses who help our patients with questions like this every day. In fact, if you’re a VPFW patient, chances are you’ve already taken advantage of this unique service we offer. Our phone nurses are all certified medical assistants or LPNs with over 10 years of OB/GYN experience. They’ve helped patients with all types of concerns, so you can feel comfortable talking to them about issues you are having and find confidence in the medical guidance they provide.
What are some problems that phone nurses can help with?
VPFW phone nurses are trained to:
- Answer patients’ questions or quickly obtain answers from physicians
- Assess patients’ symptoms and medical needs to evaluate the type of care they should receive, or reassure them that what they are experiencing is normal and doesn’t require a visit to the provider
- Determine the timeframe when patients need care: a same-day appointment vs. later in the week
- Refill medication prescriptions and/or change pharmacies
- Share guidance on over-the-counter medications that can help
Faster access to OB/GYN providers
Phone nurses work closely with VPFW physicians and nurses, providing ancillary support so that our practice can give you the individual care you need, when you need it. They have the resources to reach out directly to our physicians to obtain answers faster than patients could on their own by leaving a voicemail and waiting for a follow-up call. Our phone nurses can also get you in to see a provider quickly if you need same-day care.
A sounding board for OB patients
Our OB patients find VPFW phone nurses to be a godsend. Pregnancy comes with so many changes, appointment to appointment and pregnancy to pregnancy. And with those changes come lots of questions! You can’t always wait for your next visit with the obstetrician to get an answer. Our phone nurses can often tell just from talking with you if what you are experiencing is normal or if there is cause for concern. This is a time in your life when it’s comforting to have a sounding board for your questions and be able to get reassurance when everything is okay.
Clinical experience is reassuring for patients
It’s comforting for patients to speak with nurses who have such extensive OB/GYN clinical experience. Phone nurse Sara Walsh worked as Dr. John Partridge’s nurse at VPFW for 20 years before becoming a phone nurse when he retired. While working with him she developed her clinical expertise, which has helped her immensely with phone nursing. “He taught me to listen to the patient and rely on my clinical knowledge.” Patients often recognize our phone nurses from their clinical days. One mom calling for her daughter heard Sara’s voice and said, “Is this Sara who worked with Dr. Partridge? I know my daughter will get help.”
A passion for helping patients feel better
In addition to the medical expertise from their clinical experience, our phone nurses carry over their love of being able to answer patients’ questions, educate them and decrease their fears. Sara says her favorite part of being a phone nurse is “the satisfaction of helping calm someone’s anxiety, and at the end of our conversation hearing them say, ‘I feel so much better, thanks.’”
When are VPFW phone nurses available to help?
Our phone nurses are available to answer your questions from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30am-4pm on Friday. Their highest call volumes are Monday mornings, so please be sure to avoid this time to ensure you can speak with one of our nurses right away. Our phone nurses resolve 80% of incoming calls within the same day with minimum wait times, and they can often save you a trip to the office. They’re a crucial part of our care team and they look forward to helping you!