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Employee Stories

Nurse Tracey’s story

May 6, 2020
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Headshot of CCA Nurse Tracey

Tracey’s dream of being a nurse was born on her grandparents’ farm in Connecticut. “My grandfather would allow us to be there during the deliveries of many animals,” Tracey says. “It was when I experienced the birth of a calf that I knew I wanted to be a nurse. No one could have stopped me. I was determined.”

That determination to nurture and care for others was important to Tracey’s parents, who believed in nurturing a family full of doctors and nurses. It would go on to become the central theme in her own career—from her time as a labor and delivery nurse to her current role at CCA.

Supporting members through stressful situations

Tracey has been a nurse for 26 years. In addition to spending 15 years as a labor and delivery nurse, she has also worked in the emergency room and operating room, and has been a visiting nurse for 22 years. Tracey joined CCA in January 2017 to be a telephonic RN care partner at CCA Springfield. “Tracey is skilled at developing trust and rapport with patients over the phone,” says Christina Camara, manager of clinical care partnership. “She is able to keep her composure under stressful situations.”

Tracey’s determination also shows in the way she approaches challenges on behalf of her members. She recently had a member who was discharged after a psychiatric hospitalization. The member’s mobility had declined during his hospitalization due in part to advanced Parkinson’s disease. The rehab facility and the advanced practice clinician both agreed that he needed to go to short-term rehab at a skilled nursing facility, but that turned out to be more difficult than expected. Few facilities could accommodate the member, because of his need for methadone.

Tracey stepped in to help facilitate the admission. She worked with the member’s methadone clinic to get orders that would allow him to receive methadone at the skilled nursing facility. She ensured the facility got all the paperwork they required. She even arranged transportation to the facility—calmly turning a stressful situation into one that worked for everyone involved, and earning the gratitude of the member and his wife.

A holistic approach to care

The coronavirus outbreak has likewise complicated life for Tracey’s 300 members—many of whom are feeling anxious or struggling to get basic necessities. She helps to calm their fear of the unknown by helping them get the resources they need to stay healthy and remain in their homes. “It has been rewarding to be able to be a support for them,” she says.

Tracey is having to adjust how she provides nurture and comfort to her members, but predictably, that hasn’t slowed her determination. “I spend more time listening in a holistic way,” she says. “I used to be able to deploy several people to members’ homes to engage them, but now we are making do with telephonic support.”

Despite the challenges that the outbreak has presented, Tracey remains committed to providing the best care possible to her members. “Our new normal is not a perfect system, but I want my members to know I am here as their nurse and, more importantly, we are in this together until this pandemic is over,” she says.

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