When the request came to write a blog for Healthspirations to celebrate Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Week, I knew immediately that I was interested in participating. I cannot recall one specific moment that led me to medicine, other than really enjoying the sciences as a college student. I earned my first bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati, but didn't feel called to a career in research, so I entered an accelerated pathway-to-nursing program at University of Cincinnati, which allowed me to earn another bachelor's degree, in nursing. I started as a young nurse in 2005 working the night shift in the ICU at UC Health. Two years later, I had also completed my master's degree in nursing, eventually becoming a Certified Advanced Practice nurse (NP) in 2008.
The past 10 years that I've spent in practice have been nothing short of eye opening and life changing. I've spent time working in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary/Sleep Medicine, Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. I do not think that I can recall a point, on any given day, that I was not excited to come into work. My husband and I share three beautiful boys, ages three, six, and nine years old. They've supported all of my endeavors wholeheartedly, and without question. My boys think it's cool that I get to take care of people every day and also have access to sharp objects.
The joy that I experience from patient interactions is what continuously pulls me in. I always get a kick out of seeing my patients enjoying their lives again. Taking care of their immediate medical needs is only part of the story. The real joy comes from learning about the lives they lived before this life changing event that brought them to my door, or more importantly, getting the patient back to that life. I look forward to office visits, or informal meetings in the hospital lobby, so that I can hear what adventures my former patients have been on since leaving here. Of course, there are times, when the result is not so good. Times when discharge home proves to be more painful in some ways. Those stories are the tough ones.
I believe that when God gives us a gift, his intention is that we share that gift with the world. I share my gift with others, and hopefully brighten a day here and there. For as long as I am able, I will continue to do just that.
Want to learn more about advanced practice providers? Click to read more about their roles in patient care.