Jackie, RN

RN Case Manager

Hometown: Danbury, CT

Tell us a bit about yourself: Tell us a bit about yourself: I have two girls who are nine and four years old. My daughters are my No. 1 – they are my world. But every day when I go out to see my patients, I treat them like they are my No. 1.

When and why did you become a nurse? I graduated with a degree in biology, intending to go on to med school. I worked in a doctor’s office but realized that for me there wasn’t enough of a patient advocacy component, personal patient relationships. During my first nursing class it all clicked; I knew this was where I needed to be.

Where do you see patients? I am a case manager in Ridgefield.

What are some things about being a nurse that might surprise people? That there are so many things that you can do with a nursing degree. You can do law, research, or virtually any other role in a healthcare setting that doesn’t involve taking blood or doing vitals. Nurses are what keeps the medical system functioning.

What is a favorite moment/time from your career as a nurse? I had a patient who was diabetic and wheelchair-bound and had serious complications as a result. I cared for her almost every day. A while later, I went to visit her. As I was on my way out the door, I heard her say to her daughter, “I would never have made it through the last 6 months without Jackie. I wouldn’t have survived.” I really didn’t feel like I did anything major for her. But it showed me that, even when you don’t realize it, you have an impact.

How has your job changed with COVID-19? Anytime a patient is discharged from a hospital, to protect everyone you have to act like they have the virus. Also, there has been fear that can lead to a longstanding patient saying, “I don’t know if I should let you in.” It’s also heartbreaking because you might be the only human contact that the person has. I explain that we have separate teams assigned to COVID patients, and that we take more than the standard precautions. And we educate them, tell them to wear the mask, help them set up telehealth, help them with their prescriptions.