What got you started in (your specialty)?
I worked inpatient at the hospital for fifteen years and so I knew I wanted something different, and I wanted to leave the hospital. Going to Weight Management seemed like a complete change, and it’s a more positive aspect. You get to help people reach positive goals. So it’s kind of completely different, but I’ve really enjoyed doing it since I’ve started doing it.
Why did you choose to work at Stormont Vail Health?
Well, I grew up in Holton, which is only about thirty minutes away from Topeka, so I always knew about Stormont. I started working at Stormont in 2003. So, I’ve, in a sense, grown up here as well. From being a CNA to now a nurse practitioner, all through Stormont Vail.
How would your friends or family describe you?
My friends and family would describe me as happy, upbeat, motivated, very approachable, can talk with anybody. And being approachable and being happy has a lot to do with what we do in Weight Management because people are something nervous and it’s a sensitive topic.
What are some things you do to take care of your own health?
I’ve learned since I’ve started here, too. I’ve changed some of my eating habits. I drink water all the time. I stay active. I have three kids, and they have lots of activities, so we’re always on the go, going somewhere, and I think that’s a big part of it, just getting up and moving.
What advice would you have for someone coming to see you?
We want people to be happy when they’re losing weight. So, it’s important to find things that they like, that they enjoy, so they don’t feel like they’re changing their whole life but being miserable at the same time. We want them to be happy and these to be good changes that they’re making.
What keeps you doing your work?
What keeps me doing my work is I really like to see people get better and reach their goals. Their health gets better overall. Some people get to a point where they get off some of their medications, which is a lot of people’s goals. So, that’s better. It also means that other disease processes they have going on are getting better. So by getting their weight under control their hypertension can get better, their cholesterol can get better. Multiple things can get better in their life. So, it’s really nice to see those positive outcomes and see people reach those goals and see how happy it makes them.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners