First NP Job: Something to Celebrate
On Monday, October 17, 2011, I started my NP job at the Martin-Tyrrell-Washington District Health Department. Over the 5 days of my first week on the job, I rotated to all three HDs in the district and attended the October 17th grand opening of Martin County HD’s grant-funded satellite clinic in Oak City, North Carolina. I will be the sole primary care provider at the Martin County HD 4 days a week (a midwife is contracted to provide prenatal care one day a week) and at the Oak City Clinic on Wednesdays, with more days added as patient volume dictates.
As mentioned previously, the reason I accepted the first job offer after the first job interview was because of the prospect of building the Oak City Clinic from the ground up. The little clinic adjoins the Oak City Town Hall, and is a converted firehouse. The walls are cinder block painted a bright ivory and everything is spanking new. There is a billing office, a waiting area, two exam rooms and an alcove where labs will be done.
On the day of the grand opening, the present mayor, the former mayor, the town clerk, a few county commissioners, board of health members, town folk, my nurse Paula, our billing clerk Bonnie and I gathered in front of the clinic for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A reporter from the town paper, the Williamston Enterprise, interviewed everyone and took pictures (photo above courtesy Williamston Enterprise). The mayor told me that the crowds would have been bigger were it not harvest time; main crops in the area being peanut, cotton, tobacco and corn. There was a reception afterwards in the town hall, and I had a chance to speak to many townspeople, who seemed to be all related! We did flu clinic for 2 weeks and began officially seeing patients the first week of November.
Paula, Bonnie and I are determined to make our clinic a great success. Paula and Bonnie will be routing patients who live in the Oak City vicinity to the clinic from Martin County HD. I’ve offered to do community education on chronic disease management at the two local churches, something I very much enjoyed doing as a public health nurse, and the offer was enthusiastically received by the church elders. We hope to justify the grantor’s confidence that funding this satellite clinic will improve the health indicators in this part of Eastern Carolina. These warm and wonderful people deserve no less, and here I plan to stay until the job is done.