Cardiac rehab units were a newer service when Betsy Stovsky, MSN, RN, began her nursing career at Cleveland Clinic nearly 30 years ago. She had just completed her BSN, the Internet wasn’t used for searching for information, and some of the greatest advancements in heart care – including stents – were yet to come.
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“Here at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) we are always working on the next innovative treatment and finding ways to improve patient care,” she says with enthusiasm. “People come here from the community, from across the country and around the world. They come here with hope and they come here for answers.”
After serving as a bedside nurse early in her career, Betsy moved into writing and doing patient education for Cardiac Rehabilitation. She was thrilled to be in a career where she could offer solutions and patients could have an impact on their own health through proper diet and exercise. She continued to take on leadership roles, doing presentations, writing papers and serving as a nurse instructor.
Her strong role in communications led to managing patient education for HVI, and then the website content beginning in 2000. Now, Betsy also manages the communications team that oversees “The Beating Edge.”
“We began this blog – and our web chats – because people are going online with their healthcare questions, and we want to make sure they are getting information with integrity. Our active team is committed to providing information that is safe and accurate for our patients. We have never strayed from this mission.”
Betsy also manages theHVIResourceCenternurses who take calls, answer web mail and chat online in response to patient questions. Cleveland Clinic is the only hospital in the country we are aware of offering this online nursing service to the public. Each of the eight nurses that staff the center has at least 15 years of experience.
In 2011, we started a 24/7 call line for all HVI discharged patients to address questions or concerns and help patients make the transition to home. The center nurses respond to about 450 contacts each month, and in 2011, answered 20,000 contacts to the center.
Throughout HVI, there are more than 1,000 nurses on staff. They work on medical units, in the ICU, in surgery, operating rooms, diagnostic procedure and treatment areas such as cath and EP labs, in research and outpatient care. Nurses in the HVI take pride in their work and in putting patients first every day.
- The Heart and Vascular Institute Resource Center Nurses
“I’m proud to be a nurse—it is a great field,” says Betsy. “Today, nurses have a unique opportunity to help patients in so many ways – especially with advanced degrees. I think over time, nurses will be even more involved with all aspects of patient care.”
For all that nurses do, thank you. Happy Nurses Week!
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