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December 3, 2020 | The Faces of Virtual Care: Kayla Fenske

Every day our nearly 100 nurses call thousands of people living with chronic illnesses all over the country.  These are their stories.

Nothing matters more to us than caring for our patients. It is why we do what we do. Without our team of dedicated and experienced registered nurses, we would not have the chance to connect people to services that can change their life for the better.

With every interaction, we strive to truly know our patients. This way, we can offer them personalized care throughout their wellness journey. Why? We believe it makes all the difference.

Kayla Fenske, Clinical Supervisor

What do you enjoy most about being a Chronic Care Coordinator?

The thing I enjoy most about being a Chronic Care Coordinator is building relationships with my patients. I help them work on goals that matter to them and help increase their quality of life as they learn to manage their chronic conditions. In our conversations, I have been able to catch and address new health concerns earlier, which has helped keep my patients healthy and out of the hospital.

I also enjoy learning about my patients and the things that are most important to them – whether that is getting a new furry companion or enjoying a family milestone they would have previously missed. I do a happy dance when my patients make progress towards a goal and take pride when they feel more confident in making lifestyle changes. I also look forward to hearing the excitement in their voices when they have worked hard and made the changes necessary to win back their health.

 

What should patients know about their nurses when they enroll with Wellbox?

We want to make sure our patients know that we care about each of them and that we remember the things they tell us that are unique to them. They are not just an A1C number, blood pressure that needs to be corrected, or a breathing problem that needs to be under control.

We want them to know we see them as a real person.

 

Related Resource: How has quarantining during this time affected patients? Watch how Kayla Fenske, Clinical Supervisor, shares how Wellbox helps patients combat isolation during this time.

 

How has quarantining during this time affected patients?

When COVID-19 first happened, I reached out to all my patients to see how they were doing. As we started quarantining, I gave them jobs to call and check on those they care about. For example, I asked them to find five people during the week and call them, even if it was just a 10-minute chat. This activity kept them busy, helped other people, and let them stay connected despite being at home.

Even though we are not as isolated anymore, I know there are several patients who have not left their homes since March 2020, and no one is visiting them. Their families leave medications and groceries on the doorsteps, but the patients are becoming depressed because they cannot see their families.

They are afraid of the transmission of the virus, but we have heard many of them say they miss their grandchildren and family so much that they do not mind getting the virus. I think this mindset will probably increase as we head towards the holidays, especially since that is already a time of increased depression, anxiety, and suicide rates within this patient demographic.

One way we help them stay connected is by teaching them how to use technology like Zoom and FaceTime. Along with this technology, I think the fact that our programs include therapeutic listening is important for our patients. With every call, we can find out how they are feeling and see if they have an outlet to express those feelings. A few examples of questions we ask to find this out include, “What are you doing to stay grounded today? Are you still doing the activities you like to do? Did you call and check on your friends today?”

Depending on their responses, we can see how to best help them so they can avoid feeling isolated during this time.

 

Featured Resource: Faces of Virtual Care

Who are the faces behind our virtual care solutions? We invite you to meet some more of the amazing nurses on our team as they share their most memorable patient stories.

 

Our mission has always been to deliver the best care solutions to our patients so they can live healthier and happier lives. Because of our nurses, we can do just that.

We could not be more grateful for our clinical team and their efforts in providing incredible quality care to our patients while also supporting and empowering them in their wellness journey. Their ability to create positive healthcare experiences and offer personalized care, especially during these uncertain times, truly makes a difference. They are the faces of virtual care.