NP Joanna DeLong Profiled in Article Highlighting Advanced Practice Nursing
The career of nurse practitioner Joanna Delong, RN, MS, NP, Clinical Director of the UCSF Heart and Vascular Center, was the subject of a recent profile in the School of Nursing's "Science of Caring". The article "Creating Opportunities for Nurse Practitioners to Help Save Limbs and More" describes her diverse set of nursing experiences, including in the liver transplant intensive care unit (ICU) at University of Pittsburgh, in the cardiac ICU at UCSF Medical Center, and as an informatics expert leading a team that built the nursing documentation for the first electronic medical record (EMR) at UCSF.
Her experiences in the Vascular Surgery Clinic and UCSF Center for Limb Preservation & Wound Care underscore the role advanced practice nurses play on the multidisciplinary team providing state-of-the-art patient care.
All of this movement among various aspects of health care has only deepened her appreciation of the role that nurses and advanced practice nurses play in the system.
“Charlie Mead, who had a real appreciation for what nurses do, once told me: ‘Doctors are the nouns in health care – they name things – and nurses are the verbs; they are the action.’ With an NP, you’ve got both the noun and the verb; you’re really part of the whole continuum,” she says.
She sees that every day at UCSF’s Center for Limb Preservation, where a team of vascular surgeons, podiatrists and specially trained nurse practitioners jointly treat patients with conditions such as infections, nonhealing wounds and peripheral artery disease.
“We had an NP clinic today for all of vascular surgery,” DeLong says. One patient with a fistula was getting his sutures removed. Another with critical limb ischemia had to be seen because the incision from his amputation was bleeding.
“There are all these nuances and steps with this high-risk patient population that is very complex, medically and socially,” she says. “The NPs know these patients through the entire process: surgery through making a plan for next steps, coordinating with other specialties and helping facilitate care for patients who live too far away for frequent visits; the NPs see and manage the entire picture.”