When you or a loved one aren’t feeling well, but your doctor’s office is closed, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members can talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The free 24-Hour Nurse Line helps members determine the next steps for care, whether it’s at-home care or following up with a doctor. If you’ve ever called the nurse line, you already know that supportive, educated nurses answer your questions and help you make a plan for care. But who are the nurses on the other end of the phone? Like her co-workers, Heather Perry is an experienced nurse. She’s worked in emergency rooms, trauma centers and other critical care areas, such as intensive care units. Perry has worked with the nurse line for the past five years. During Perry’s day, she takes calls from members and answers health-related questions in a clear, concise manner. “In some ways this role differs from a nurse who sees patients in-person, but in other ways it’s very much the same,” says Perry. She’s kind and courteous and uses the same problem-solving skills. In addition, she also has extensive training to assess patients by phone.
“Over the phone, there’s an added level of fine-tuning your questions and critical thinking. This helps paint the clearest picture of the patient and the level of care they require in that moment,” says Perry. Regardless of who calls in, Perry and her team are prepared to answer any questions and guide a member to the appropriate treatment option. According to Perry, many patients she speaks with feel that the emergency room is their only option, but she can often reassure them that it’s likely not necessary. “One of my favorites parts of my job is educating patients on their treatment options,” says Perry. “It brings me joy when I can help ease a member’s worry and help them to avoid an emergency room visit when it’s not necessary.” Perry takes pride in her and her team’s thorough assessments. “We strive to provide each member with the most complete analysis regarding their diagnosis, symptoms and recommended treatments. This gives them peace of mind,” says Perry. Feeling sick but not sure what to do? Talk to a registered nurse at no cost, anytime of day or night. Blue Cross’ 24-Hour Nurse Line can answer your questions and help you decide where to get care when it’s late, you’re on the go, or your primary care doctor isn’t available. Blue Cross members 1-800-775-2583 Blue Care Network members 1-855-624-5214 Beyond the 24-Hour Nurse Line, learn more about your choices when it’s not an emergency at bcbsm.com/findcare. If you found this blog helpful, you may also be interested in these: