Nurse and Patient Satisfaction

Building a connection: Growing our patients’ trust in us and our trust in each other

What does it mean to be engaged? For patients, engagement with us signifies a trust in our knowledge and kindness and a commitment to turn to Sentara Healthcare again in the future.

For a nurse, being engaged can mean feeling a connection and a confidence in those around you, checking on a fellow nurse, or suggesting a new process to make each shift run more smoothly. Responses to recent surveys say Sentara nurses are indeed engaged in these ways and others and that patients are too.

According to the 2018 Sentara Nursing Engagement Survey results, our nursing engagement is on the rise at the system level, with the overall RN engagement index percentile ranking increasing to the 82nd percentile from the 80th percentile for the percentage of nurses who are “content” or “engaged.” We’ve made progress in the areas of staffing, workload and the perception of Sentara giving back to the community.

Benchmark: Survey Solutions (Now part of Press Ganey) 2018 National Database


‘Overall Impression’ Customer Satisfaction Score

Goal Exceeded at Optima Health

A NURSE’S STORY: Zenaida Aycock, BSN, RN
Integrated Care Manager, Optima Health Community Care

“I’ve always wondered what happens to my patients. When I was an ER nurse, I thought about how they were doing in the hospital. When I was a discharge nurse, I wanted to know how they did in the community with the services I set up. Now as a nurse in the community, I can see how they’re coping and learn how I can help more.”

Strengthening patient engagement with outreach

“I work with 150 Medicaid members, doing care coordination for them. Almost every day of the week, I’m out meeting with a member or a member’s family. We’re updating their information, talking to any providers involved in their care, coordinating transportation providers, thinking of everything — respite care, personal emergency response systems, adult day care and more.

We’re a resource for them when it comes to their health insurance. We get to know them personally, too. Some members I talk to every couple of weeks. We talk about a lot more than just healthcare. We share pictures every time we go, we chat about our families, and about what they’re doing in their everyday lives. We’re continuing to build a relationship with members. They are very satisfied with having this care coordination service available to them. We’re somebody that’s constant. 

In a year and a half, the person helping them hasn’t changed five or six times, it’s the same person that they are comfortable with. At the very beginning of this Medicaid program, the patients were hesitant to let us into their homes. Now people are very open. People are starting to see, ‘I can rely on Zenny. I can call her, and she will see what she can do for me or find me an answer.’

Some of our members have pretty complex conditions. Even as a nurse, I don’t know about some of what they’re facing. I ask the member to better explain what he or she is going through. I also turn to my co-workers and they do the same with me. One person doesn’t know it all; asking questions is a big part of nursing. I realize I will not be successful in my position without the help of the people who surround me. Everyone around me is an expert in a certain way.”

A NURSE’S STORY: Marita Roncal, BSN, RN-BC
Unit Coordinator, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital

“Wanting to help is why I became a nurse. I was in fifth grade when my dad had cancer, and my mom didn’t have medical experience. I said to myself that I wanted to care for my mom one day. Every time I take care of someone at work, I see my parents.”

Engaging nurses by lending a hand and showing appreciation

“One of my managers once described me as the ‘glue to the team,’ and I want to keep doing things that make strong teams. You have to establish a good rapport.

The main focus for me is helping. In my position, I serve as a charge nurse, supervising and assigning patients to nurses. I pick one of each nurse’s patients to dispense medicine to during each shift. This gives the nurses time to catch up on other duties. I’m helping them avoid burnout.

Through my interactions with patients, I also try to set an example for the nurses I work with. I do little extra things. I had a patient with stage 4 cancer, and she mentioned a few times that she liked my earrings. I took them off, cleaned them with alcohol and gave them to her. She was so excited; she put them on and was taking selfies and posting them on Facebook. She was so happy that she forgot she had asked me for pain medicine.

I like for everyone to feel special, especially my staff, and I keep my motto in mind: ‘Change Expectations to Appreciations.’ We have parties for our nurses and make personalized posters. We’ve created a photo album that we keep in the break room. We print pictures from all of our events, holidays and things like baby showers that we plan, and the staff looks at the album all the time.

Nursing satisfaction is a measurable way we validate that the staff is feeling support on a daily basis.”

Sentara Nursing Report