How Our Nurses Can Help
You’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. You met with your doctor, googled your condition, and still have a lot of questions. What's your next step? Make an appointment to talk with a BCBSRI nurse case manager, like Reena Jariwala, at Your Blue Store.SM Reena explains how we can help you manage your health condition.
How long have you been working as a nurse at BCBSRI?
I’ve been working at BCBSRI for the last 5½ years, but have been in the healthcare industry a total of 23 years.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak English, Hindi, and Gujarati. Through the many resources we have available to us, I can assist members in a wide variety of other languages as well.
How do you help our members?
Most commonly, members will come in with questions on a new or existing diagnosis—how they got it, how to manage it, and what their next steps are. We often work with their primary care doctor to set realistic goals and plan how members can reach those goals. We review any medications they’re on as well as their potential side effects. Whenever possible, I send them home with information that further explains their condition. We then set up weekly in-person or over-the-phone follow-ups so I can check their progress, and provide ongoing support and encouragement.
Do you only work with members in our retail locations?
I also call members who have recently come home from the hospital. I check in with them to ensure a smooth transition of care from the hospital to their home, and to see if they have any questions. In certain cases—especially if the member’s condition is especially complicated or if they’ve had multiple hospital admissions—I’ll visit them in the hospital. I’ll work with the nurses in the hospital to help coordinate the member’s care and reduce their chances of being readmitted.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the face-to-face interaction. Being local is a huge advantage—we can be available to our members in the communities where they live and work. I also really like that we work together as a team to help members with their health.
Can you provide an example of when your team-based approach really made a positive impact on a member?
One of the customer service representatives at our Warwick store referred a member, Ralph Stokes, to one of our nurses. Ralph had a medical history that included a number of health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and he’d also been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. He was frustrated dealing with the day-to-day symptoms of the Lyme disease, and was looking for additional options and support. The store’s registered dietician and the nurse met with him a number of times and provided suggestions to discuss with his primary care physician to combat the side effects of Lyme disease, such as physical therapy, exercise classes, and water therapy. They also recommended a referral to a Lyme disease specialist. They provided a list of specialist physicians for diabetes follow-up care, such as an ophthalmologist, podiatrist, and dermatologist. They also worked with him on how to better manage his health issues through dietary changes and meal planning.
Ralph was very thankful for the assistance the team provided. He spoke with his primary care physician about his concerns and their recommendations, and is now attending physical therapy, which is helping manage his symptoms. He is also taking yoga and other exercise classes at our retail store. Our team continues to work with him to monitor his progress and address any additional needs that may arise.
It’s easy to talk with a nurse
If you’d like to meet with a nurse at Your Blue Store, you can make an appointment in East Providence, Lincoln, or Warwick. You can also work with a BCBSRI nurse over the phone. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call (401) 459-2273 or 1-800-637-3718, extension 2273.