By Suzette Hartke, RN
VMS Clinical Support Educator
At VMS BioMarketing, I work as a Clinical Nurse Educator. However – unlike many of my fellow nurses – I do my job over the telephone! I am part of a highly specialized, professional nurse-to-patient call center. Our team of nurses works directly with patients over the telephone: providing education to help them get started on a new therapy, answering questions about their disease, and periodically checking in with them to provide education and support to properly manage their condition on a daily basis.
These are the top 10 things I love about being a telephonic Clinical Nurse Educator:
1. Meeting Patients Where They Are
How lucky we are to talk with a vast array of patients each day. Every patient we talk with will have a different level of need depending on where they are in their journey. Addressing those unmet needs and offering a listening ear at the time they need it most is the number one reason we love to pick up the phone every day.
2. Educating Patients on Disease State
Disease-state education is crucial to our patient’s level of compliance and peace of mind. In my role, I focus on patients with autoimmune disorders, and those conditions are complicated! Simplifying the education and hearing the patient have an “a-ha” moment is an absolute thrill.
3. Hearing a Patient Teach Back the Self-Injection Process
Part of the education I provide is teaching patients how to inject themselves with medication, and that requires multiple steps and confidence. One of the biggest joys of being an educator is when your patient repeats back to you what you taught! This “teach back” method is also a great opportunity to discover areas where more teaching is necessary.
4. Helping a Patient Get Over a Fear of Needles
Many patients have an aversion to needles. There are even a handful of patients who will never get over their fear of needles and will always have to have someone else administer the medication. However, more times than not, my team is able to talk the patient through the injection process so when the time comes for them to inject, they are feeling comfortable and confident.
5. Being a Sounding Board for the Patient Who Does Not Have a Support System
Every day we talk with patients who have been living with chronic pain, and we are humbled and honored to help them. Every day we will talk to at least one patient who does not have a support system in their life, leaving them feeling isolated and frustrated. Being a sounding board for these patients gives them an outlet to release pent-up feelings and start working toward treatment and lifestyle goals.
6. Talking about Autoimmune Disorders – My Passion!
Most nurses have a clinical area they are most passionate about. Autoimmune disorders have always fascinated me. I appreciate and enjoy the complexity of the various disease states and the research being invested in them. I believe we will live to see the day when cures are realized.
7. Patient Privacy and Convenience
When nurses work with patients in a public setting like a hospital or clinic, sometimes patients don’t feel the same level of privacy they feel in their own home. Working with patients over the telephone in their own home gives them a level of privacy and convenience they really enjoy.
8. Working with a Fabulous Team of Nurse Educators
I am so grateful to work with our team of Nurse Educators. Each team member brings a unique nursing experience, and we can always reach out to them with a question or need for additional support.
9. Working for VMS BioMarketing
VMS provides a wide range of jobs for nurses and other HCPs to be Clinical Educators all over the US. The corporate culture of VMS supports diversity and growth and encourages all employees to be a part of the team while celebrating everyone’s unique contribution.
10. Business Comfy Attire is Encouraged
Working from home affords us the privilege to wear the clothes we feel most comfortable in. I like to think when we are talking with patients, they visualize what we look like via our kind, professional tone of voice. Our patients do not mind if we skip putting on makeup! Also, working from home provides a structured environment where I can truly stick to my own healthy meal plan.