The Patient Experience—From Every Angle
Priscilla Allers, RN, knows all about the patient experience. She lives and breathes it. And, having been an inpatient herself over the past two years, she’s deepened her knowledge of what patients need.
“I suffered a knee injury and have needed a series of surgical procedures to correct the issue,” said Priscilla, a longtime nursing professional at Catholic Health’s Good Samaritan Hospital. “Every time I’ve found myself in a hospital bed, I inevitably see more opportunities to do better for our patients.”
As Good Samaritan’s Manager of Patient Advocacy, Priscilla’s priorities are to make the hospital experience as comfortable and positive as possible. That involves a lot of dialogue with the patient, the attending doctors and nurses, as well as the patient’s family. “I’m here to help the patient navigate through the process of treatment and recovery—both during the hospital stay and post-discharge.”
It’s a role for which Priscilla is highly suited. Starting her career back in the 1970s as a nursing assistant, she’s alternately spent time as an Emergency Department nurse, a Med/Surg nurse, as well as a nurse manager.
“I grew up at Good Samaritan Hospital,” she said with a smile. “My mother was a secretary in the Nursing Department for more than 35 years. Before I even started as a nurse, I knew the territory. And I knew the sense of family nurses feel as they team up and bond.”
That sense of bonding is a comfort to Priscilla, particularly in times of crisis. “In my husband’s final hours, he was rushed to Good Samaritan’s Emergency Department. Everyone I work with came to sit with me as we waited out the process. It gave me so much strength and support at a very difficult time.”
Priscilla is passing that level of support on to each patient she comes in contact with. “All nurses are patient advocates. We don’t just dispense pills and take temperatures. We listen, we educate and we support on a very human level.”
Priscilla’s role also involves educating new employees on Catholic Health’s extensive Patient Experience training. “We have very high standards. That’s because we don’t simply treat the disease; we treat the whole patient—body, mind and spirit.”
Does Priscilla see Catholic Health as unique in Long Island’s health care market? “Most definitely,” she was quick to say. “It goes back to our faith-based ethic. It really drives us; it unifies us. Listen, we’re not all Catholic here. But we approach the task of caring for our patients from a strong sense of mission. And I love that animating spirit.”
Asked if she has any words of wisdom for new health care professionals, Priscilla offered, “If we see a high work ethic and a positive personality, we know you’ll do well here. We’ll take care of the training and support you every step. Before you know, we’ve got another great member of the team joining us on our lifelong commitment.”
Want to join the team? Apply at jobs.chsli.org