May 12, 2021

Healthcare Heroes: UW Health's ambulatory nurses play huge role in patient care

Madison, Wis. – As we reflect on how nurses impact the way our patients receive their care, UW Health wants to honor the important and innovative work ambulatory nurses do every day for our patients, their families and the community.

Ambulatory nursing is unique in several ways. Rather than caring for patients staying in the hospital for several days or more, they care for many patients in a short amount of time. They can be found in primary and specialty care, surgical and diagnostic settings, and in the community. Ambulatory nurses connect with patients at the hospital or clinic for appointments or procedures, but often provide care via telehealth, answering questions, triaging patient needs and continuing care remotely.

As more and more patients receive care outside of a hospital setting, throughout the pandemic and moving forward, patients and families rely heavily upon our ambulatory nurses.

"Ambulatory nurses are some of the most compassionate and resilient people you will ever meet," said Shabvon Johnson, RN, director of ambulatory operations at UW Health. "They are also incredibly efficient because they have to use the limited time and information available to ensure patients are safe, cared for and listened to."

Their day can include aiding in clinical procedures, teaching patients how to administer or self-inject medication, helping families understand a child’s health needs, providing advanced care planning and coordination for adults, or helping a family prepare for post-surgery care.

In fact, quality ambulatory care nursing has been associated with fewer emergency department visits, hospital visits and readmissions, and ambulatory nurses often promote preventive care in the community, teaching groups and individuals alike how to stay healthy or heal outside of a hospital setting.

UW Health employs more than 1,400 ambulatory nurses across its locations. We are proud of these hard-working, innovative and caring leaders and experts who provide remarkable care to our patients and communities every day.

Listen to some of our ambulatory nurses explain their roles and how they enjoy helping patients.