National Nurses Week, which begins May 6 and runs through Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, recognizes the contributions nurses and nursing make in our communities.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, we take this time to celebrate our many diverse nurses for the ways they use their skills and training — as well as their empathy, compassion and commitment — to bring better health and access to care to the people of our state. Here are a few of their stories.
Behavioral Health Care Management Specialist
Teri Talbot is better suited for nursing and case management than she was for law enforcement — her first professional career path. “People could talk me out of tickets,” says Talbot, a self-described care giver. “That position was not for me.”
As an example, she helped a member get a water heater for his home after she discovered during a home visit he had been using his stove to heat water.
“I noticed some pots stacked on the stove, and I asked why they were there,” Talbot recalls. “That’s when he told me he hadn’t had hot water. He wasn’t even going to tell me until I asked. I was just as happy as he was when he got that water heater.”
Lori Narvaez, Talbot’s manager, says Talbot always looks for ways to serve members and her team.
“She consistently is looking to improve the team in whatever way possible,” she says. “Whether it is a positive and encouraging comment or a helpful reminder, she is a perfect model of going above and beyond. She is a true representative of the nursing profession and how a kind, compassionate human can make a difference in the world.”
Director of Clinical Care Delivery and Population Health Management
Commercial and Individual and Family Market Plans
Sam Baca knew she wanted to be a nurse when she was five and began her nursing journey as a licensed practical nurse when she was 18.
“My father has worked in the operating room my entire life,” Baca says. “When I was a little girl, he used to bring me home stethoscopes and other items they were going to throw away so we could play with them. We had Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and my dad would take me into the operating room, which was really cool.”
“The member was, unfortunately, undergoing treatment for advanced cancer and was struggling with medical bills,” she says. “I was able to work with the chief medical officer to assist with getting their claims paid. This enabled the member to continue with their cancer treatment without worrying. This is one example of how helping members out is what I really enjoy about doing my job.”
Wellbeing Health Advisor
Before becoming a registered nurse, Ruby DeGuzman wanted to be a social worker. Even now, after 30 years as an RN in various settings, advocating for members is the most rewarding part of her work as a BCBSNM wellbeing health advisor. She enjoys helping them navigate the complicated health care industry and finding them services and resources.