Care Management assistant makes sure patients

Originally published in the Rocky Mount Telegram

Ricky Evans

Ricky Evans, a care management assistant at Nash UNC Health Care, said his job is like putting a puzzle together.

“I make sure that when patients leave the hospital, they continue to have the resources they need to keep getting better,” Evans said.

To do that effectively, Evans said he works with Care Management case managers and weighs many factors. Things like: Is the patient bed-bound; does the patient have family to help; is transportation a factor; will insurance pay; what kind of equipment is needed for rehab or in-home care; will the patient be able to use equipment without training; and how often will the patient need follow-up care.

“And some of the time, once I get one question answered, it leads to another question,” Evans said. “I love what I do because every day, every patient, it’s a new puzzle to put together.”

The Nash UNC Care Management team evaluates every patient that’s admitted and determines how to best continue care after the patient is discharged. “It’s definitely a team effort,” Evans said. “Doctors, social workers, insurance administrators – we want your care to continue after you leave here. We all work together to plan it out in a way that offers you the best care possible.”

Evan’s propensity for teamwork is not only evident in his good results for patients, but in how his co-workers see his work at the hospital.

Enola Hicks, a case manager Evans works with in his department, said she always finds Evans willing to help.

“Ricky is ready and always willing to assist with discharges, problems and everything that comes up in case management,” Hicks said. “Ricky is always cool, calm and collected and he assists with a smile.”

Evans said he started at Nash UNC six years ago as a transporter — a team member who moves patients from one place to another inside the hospital.

Evans still works as a transporter when he picks up extra shifts from time to time. Amy Dew, nursing float pool manager, said she works with Evans often when he staffs as a transporter, and is always impressed by how he treats others.

“Ricky does pick up often in transport and is always willing to help when there is a need. He understands the importance of the transport role and ensuring that our patients are safely and effectively transported to and from their tests and procedures,” Dew said. “He works hard, treats each patient with courtesy and respect and has a smile on his face while working,” she added.

Evans said the two managers he’s had at Nash UNC have had the most impact on him and his attitude toward his career. Robin Horne was his manager as a transporter and Rachel Brinkley is his current manager.

“Both of them really taught me so much, especially about how to navigate in a professional setting and to be efficient with my work,” Evans said. “And they taught me — I guess by watching how they treated others — that your coworkers are like an extension of your family and you should treat them well. Help each other out. I’m grateful to both of them for taking the time to teach me what I needed to know to be successful and bringing me to the job I have now — which I love.”

While Evans credits his managers for much of his success, Brinkley stressed his strong work ethic and positive attitude are a big part of why he’s been successful in his career and has been able to positively impact so many.

“Ricky always works with a positive attitude and a smile on his face.  He practices ‘No Passing Zone’ throughout the hospital, which means he never passes by someone in need, whether it is a patient, visitor or an employee,” Brinkley said.

“Ricky is kind, compassionate, and is often recognized by his co-workers for going above and beyond for staff as well as patients.  When Ricky sees a need, he just steps in and takes care of it.  He’s a hard worker and does everything with excellence.”