Tell us a little about your education in the Nursing field, and why you chose nursing as your career?
I am a Newcomerstown native, and graduated from NHS in 1999. I continued my studies at Kent State Tusc. Campus, and graduated in 2004 with my Associate Degree in nursing. At this time I was already working as an aide at Southeastern Med in Cambridge. I immediately went to the cardiac care unit as a brand new RN and stayed there for a few years, as I was offered a new and exciting opportunity working in labor and delivery at Southeastern Med. Soon after this new assignment, I began my studies for my Bachelor’s Degree. I graduated with my BSN from Malone University in 2009, all while working full-time and caring for my family. Fast forward again to going back to Malone for my Master’s as a Family Nurse Practitioner. My goal was to be finished before the kiddos starting getting into sports and extracurricular activities, and I made it happen. I graduated with my Master’s in 2014, and Tayte is now a sophomore at Newcomerstown High, and Trace and Tristen are eighth graders at Indian Valley Middle School. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful and supportive husband — Dave Bryan. The rest of our family has been a great help too. The knowledge I have gained in so many areas of healthcare, in addition to working in family practices as an NP have provided me with skills in many specialty areas.
I chose to become a nurse because my dad was very ill with cancer for several years in his 20s, and he went to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, for treatment as they were studying his type of cancer at the time. He battled cancer for several years, and had multiple complications due to the amount of experimental drugs he received, but they did ultimately save his life at the time. He was here to see me married and to be blessed with grandchildren. I remember being a young girl, and our vacations always being planned in the Maryland area due to my dad’s yearly check-ups at the NIH, and too, always hearing about Dad’s favorite nurses that became family because of the amount of time he spent in the hospital over the course of several years. I knew from that time on that I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life like the many health professionals providing excellent care for my dad, and working to deliver a cure for my dad’s cancer.
What are the benefits of urgent care as opposed to a hospital setting?
For our patients: there are many advantages to urgent care such as convenience, accessibility, and one-on-one quality care. I think the lesser wait times to see the doctor or myself in this setting have definitely fueled the growth of urgent cares in recent years. Urgent care is one of the fastest growing segments in health care.
We often treat strep throat, cold, flu, lacerations, fevers, sprains, strains, minor fractures, etc. We do have an X-ray machine to help make a rapid diagnosis with broken bones, etc., and we offer sports physicals.
In addition, I am accepting new patients, and will see those patients for regular check-ups, pap smears, as well as when they need medical care for other reasons.
What are the challenges of working in an urgent care setting?
I love what I do — this is the happiest I have been in my career since becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. I owe a lot of that contentment to Dr. Labaki and the rest of our staff at Rapidcare. Also rewarding is being able to give each patient 100 percent of my attention to discuss their health issues. The only challenges come when flu and cold season hits and we are sometimes seeing 40 or more patients a day, but that is why we are here, and we make sure each of our patients feel like they are the only client of the day. We are available for those ailments that don’t require hospitalization, but if you show up at the office, and we feel more is going on — we will send you on to receive emergency care.
Also challenging for me are the growing concerns with mental illness. Healthcare professionals are being trained more and more to ask the right questions of their patients in regards to their mental health. I don’t only want to know about your cold, I also want to know how you are dealing with life in general. If you are struggling, you know you have me to talk to and together we can figure out the next step in your journey to better mental health.
What would you like to highlight or share?
I love being there for my patients. Some of my patients have followed me from other clinics. I am a hometown Newcomerstown gal, and a lot of my clientele do come from Newcomerstown because I am a familiar face and they trust me. I see patients of all ages, and love the diversity of each and every day. Also, with urgent care, most visits are going to end positively, and that takes me back to my labor and delivery days which were a favorite for me before becoming a Nurse Practitioner. I really loved being a part of bringing a new life into the world and caring for those sweet babies in the nursery.
I am devoted to making a positive difference in a patient’s health care regimen, and becoming a trusted health care professional for them.
COMPILED BY KRISTIE WILKIN