We've all had those moments: the middle-of-the-night scares when you or a loved one doesn't feel well, or when health issues keep you tossing and turning. It's hard to know what to do. Heading to the hospital, doing a search online or trying to grin and bear it are options, but not always the best choice.
Casey Franco is a part of the solution to those after-hours health concerns. She — along with several other specially trained nurses — are on the other end of the phone when you call for assistance.
Franco works with Sharp Nurse Connection®, an after-hours nurse telephone service for Sharp Rees-Stealy patients and members of Sharp Health Plan. She answers calls, provides a professional assessment and determines the best options for care.
Whether you call about a stomach bug, upper respiratory issue, chest pains or a fussy baby, these highly trained medical professionals can help.
"We are an excellent group of nurses with years of experience and a variety of backgrounds between us," says Franco. "We listen to your concerns and questions, get your medical background information, and use critical thinking, physician-directed protocols, evidence-based treatments and our own personal and professional experiences to provide personalized care to every caller."
Franco said that her favorite calls come from new moms — upset over an infant with a fever or simply not feeling well — because she enjoys using her medical knowledge and personal experience as a mother to calm their anxieties. "I get to do a lot of education and make a real difference in a matter of minutes."
However, not all calls are so easy. Nurse after-hours advice lines handle calls dealing with a wide range of internal and family medicine issues. The nurses quickly and efficiently determine if they can offer suggestions for home care, help make a same-day appointment with a physician or, in an emergency, recommend that the caller hang up and call 911.
"It's a great feeling to help a patient, hear a thank you and feel like I did something incredibly worthwhile all within a single phone call," says Franco.