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First Year NP

Practice What You Preach

Published February 28, 2014 9:39 AM by Katrin Moskowitz
Before I started my nurse practitioner program I was happy where I was in regards to my health. I was at a great weight, my diet had been free of any processed sugars and grains, and I was working out several times a week.

By the time I started clinicals in my primary care site I felt like a hypocrite. I had not been to see my PCP in 2 years, my gyn in 3, but I was up-to-date on my dental visits! My diet was filled with on-the-go bad choices, my full time job was now a work at home position, the gym was a foreign place and my weight was creeping up and up and up.

I am a determined person. I have completed 3 marathons, a half marathon and countless 5Ks but time was against any motivation that I had. There clearly were not enough hours in the day.

 Katrin Marathon

So each day that I was telling people how to make healthy lifestyle changes, reduce their stress and take hold of preventative medicine, I felt like I was definitely not practicing what I was preaching. Even so, I sold it with determination and many patients were making wonderful changes.

Now that I work in urgent care, 95% of the time I feel less like I have to worry about being in disguise. I do however spend 5 hours a week in primary care and therefore again began having feelings of guilt. I decided to get off of my high horse and make some dreaded appointments. 

Off to the lab for yearly blood work, appointment set for my yearly gyn exam and appointment made to discuss blood work and have a physical. I understand that no one truly likes having to go in for these routine appointments. I dread the discussion about my increase in weight and what my thoughts are about this.

I truly try to make my patients' experiences with me in primary care a positive experience. I have compassion for schedules, costs and decisions that are made around healthcare. I will be the first to admit that I am proud of my patients who follow through.

I had a patient who had not been to the PCP in 3 years. She too was worried that she would be berated about her obesity and was quite anxious about this. We had a wonderful discussion about her life in general and her goals and whether they were realistic or not. I encouraged her to make her appointment with her GYN, her mammogram and of course sent her for her blood work. When I called her to let her know she was severely Vitamin D deficient and how we would work on correcting it, she excitingly told me that evening she was off to have her mammogram completed and that her GYN appointment was scheduled. I felt like a proud parent and praised her for her follow through.

My primary care preceptor in school was amazing. She took the time to talk with her patients in a comforting and holistic manner. She spent her lunch hour eating while returning patient phone calls which I found to be truly dedicated. In the end you saw the results in patients who followed through and came to their appointments.

I understand that practices are busy and that this may not be productive for many but am curious to know how many of you are in primary care and call your patients? Do you find that this is adjunct in your care of your patients or do you find that this opens up other issues?

3 comments

I call my patients to discuss concerns and answer questions and to give results. They greatly appreciate it.

Ayo , FNP March 20, 2014 7:05 PM
Chicago

And I thank you Donna for all of your support to nurses. I can remember the day all of us new grads were sitting on your couches in your living room reminiscing about nursing school. Nurses like you paved the way for nurses like us!!!

Katrin Moskowitz March 13, 2014 2:37 PM

So very proud of you Kat.  It is a pleasure to see you become the Practitioner that you are!

Donna Anderson, Retired - RN March 8, 2014 11:21 PM
FL

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