Veronica Smothers, BSN, RN
Specialty: Telephonic Triage and Neuro/Stroke
Foreword from Tae: Veronica is a real life friend of mine! We met four years ago and she was one of the few great things about New England and I too used to work from home full time as an RN.
Veronica, what are the 6 most interesting things about your specialty?
- I found my job from a job search engine online. As an RN, I work from home, full time, as a triage nurse. I work 32 hours a week.
- Being a nurse and not having direct patient contact can seem like it doesn’t work, right? But, triage nursing can be a truly fulfilling experience.
- Being a triage nurse from home is definitely different. Not diagnosing a condition, but helping a patient understand what further care they need based off of their symptoms. A person who thought they were only having heartburn can take your advice and come to find out they were having a heart attack. Still saving lives just in a different way.
- Utilizing your nursing knowledge is so important whether it be face to face or telephonic. Try telephonic triage nursing for one day and it will truly test your critical thinking. Your role as a triage nurse directly impacts how quickly a person will receive care.
- You have to think quick and have knowledge of warning signs and symptoms ranging from pediatrics to the geriatric population. Constant education is key. You never stop learning.
- Switching gears, with neuro nursing, it is so amazing to see a stroke patient go from not speaking and moving no extremities at all, to holding a conversation and walking down a hallway.
What is the number 1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student?
I wish as a nursing student someone would have told me not to put yourself in a box. There are so many facets of nursing. You don’t only have to do one thing! Explore and ask questions.
Lastly, if you had 8 minutes to speak to the entire world on one issue in healthcare, what would you speak about?
The decrease in funding for preventative and public health. The CDC funds many state and local programs and the CDC’s funding is being dramatically cut. Prevention and education is key, but with less funding and less awareness when it comes to prevention and chronic medical conditions, the state of health will continue to decline. Diseases will start affecting the population at an earlier age.
Bonus from Veronica:
Nursing school felt like the longest 4.5 years of my life, but so worth it! Don’t ever take for granted all of the hard work and sacrifice you made. Continue to strive and learn something new everyday! You owe it to yourself to be amazing!