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Bridgeport Hospital elevates care with virtual nursing, offering a career renaissance for nurses

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

BRIDGEPORT, CT (Jan 23, 2024) – Healthcare organizations across the nation are under pressure as the growing need for nurses outpaces a shrinking workforce. Bridgeport Hospital is providing some nurses an opportunity to extend their careers with Virtual Nursing, a program that decreases physical demands on nurses and improves patient care.

This past April, the first patient on Bridgeport Hospital’s Cardiology floor was able to connect with a virtual nurse within seconds. Since that time, the program has expanded to additional units and opened a whole new world for nurses.

“I loved being at the bedside,” said Ruekia (Kia) Serrano, RN, Bridgeport Hospital’s first virtual nurse. “I was heartbroken when I suffered an injury that was going to take me away from what I do best. When I learned there was an opportunity to grow my skills and improve outcomes for patients while staying home, I jumped at this chance to have deeper relationships with patients and prolong my career.”

Kia and her team of six hybrid nurses collaborate with the onsite nurses by handling in-take, check-ins with patients and liaising with families. The virtual team often bookends that experience by handling discharge, which allows onsite nurses to focus on care that can only be delivered in person.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient rooms at Bridgeport Hospital were equipped to support inpatient telehealth. “We are able to use our already established technology to meet nurse’s needs, further improve patient care, and patient flow,” said Andy Quito, MBA, RN, director Patient Care Operations, Bridgeport Hospital. “Our team is excited to continue refining and growing the program.”

Since April 2023 Bridgeport Hospital’s virtual nursing team has conducted more than 3K video visits. Patients and families participating in the program report feeling more comfortable asking questions in video format.

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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