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I Am the Patient Experience: Jackie Ferrari, NP, Hospitalist

If hospitalist Jackie Ferrari, NP, happens to be running a bit late for a meeting, it’s with good reason. In an effort to better connect with each of her patients and gain a deeper understanding of their unique medical condition, she likes to spend a little extra time at the bedside.

“I try to build a rapport with each patient so they feel comfortable opening up and sharing information,” she says. “That way I get a fuller picture of their health history and don’t miss any important details related to their case.”  This, she admits, can take extra time that she usually doesn’t have given her busy case load, but it’s always worth it in the long run.

“As a hospitalist, you are kind of like a detective piecing the case together,” she says. “It’s not like being a primary care physician where you know each patient’s entire history and all the medications they’re taking. So, the more information I can get, the better I can assess the situation and formulate a plan.” Piecing the puzzle together, she adds, and working in collaboration with the attending physicians, is what makes the job interesting and rewarding.

In addition to taking the time to get to know her patients, Jackie also goes out of her way to share information.

“Clear communication with both the patient and family is hugely important,” she says. “I always make sure to explain things in a way that patients understand, without using a lot of medical jargon, and keep the family updated on the plan.”

The extra time Jackie spends with both her patients and their families does not go unnoticed. Since she started at Lawrence General a year and a half ago, she has received several letters recognizing her thoroughness, expertise, and compassion. In one note, a patient commented: “Jackie spent more time with us than any hospitalist I have ever met at any hospital, including two in Boston. I immediately felt at ease and knew we were in good hands.” 

The Lawrence General Patient Experience Committee has also recognized Jackie on three occasions for providing exceptional care.
“Everyone has their own style in how they approach patients and families. I think just trying to find that extra few minutes to build a stronger connection is what works for me.” 

A native of Andover, Jackie earned a business management degree and worked outside health care before making a career change and going back to nursing school. She then worked at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital for five years and went on to earn her nurse practitioner degree.


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