Wednesday, February 28, 2018

"How do you do it?"

     This is a question that I have been asked by friends, family members, patients, and colleagues for the past decade! "How do you do it?" How can you possibly work two jobs, go to school full time, raise kids, support the Navy, home school your kids, run a business, etc, etc! From the time I decided to pursue my nursing career I have managed to juggle a number of what I would call ventures and interests rather than "responsibilities". Maybe this is why I have been able to multitask seemingly impossible feats throughout the last fifteen years. I do not see my endeavors as responsibilities, i.e. "duties", "requirements", and/or "obligations". Rather, every pursuit has been a passion, backed by extreme persistence and motivation. Regardless of any obstacles or difficulties, I have whole-heartedly followed the hopes and dreams that I set out to achieve, and I cannot belittle my immense measure of faith that has only grown stronger and unbreakable in the past five years. I now have two Master's Degrees, operate my own clinic full time, home school my two younger boys, and still manage to remain humble and sane!

Here are the secrets to my superhero mentality:

1) First and foremost, God comes first in all aspects of my life. This has not always been the case for me, but five years ago I found truth and hope that cannot be surpassed by anything in this tangible world! I am not ashamed or afraid to tell everyone what my faith has done for me, and without Him, I really do not know where I would be today, but most definitely not where I am! I will save my testimony for another blog :)

2) I focus on what I love and where my heart leads me. I do not see any of my endeavors as something "I have to do", but what "I want to do". I put my all into everything and I move forward despite any obstacles. I do not settle for anything, rather I choose my pursuits willingly and eagerly based on the gifts that I was given.

3) I do not compare myself to anyone else. Every individual has been afforded their own unique talents and gifts and no two people are the same. I do not live my life based on others, but based on what moves me and what I was made to do. On that same note, I ignore the "haters". As I always tell my kids, not everyone is going to like you, nor will everyone agree with what you do, but we were not placed on this Earth to impress others! No matter what negativity may come my way, I smile and move forward without even flinching!

4) I stay humble. I am not above anyone and I always remember where I came from. I do not strive to be better than everyone, but I strive to be the best at what I do and to help others to do the same.

5) I am optimistic! I always hear my dad's voice echoing in my head, "always think positively and learn from your mistakes!". No matter what trials I face, I remember that things could always be worse. I am always moving forward, never backwards. As the great vocalist Wintley Phipps stated, "if the mountain were smooth, you couldn't climb it"!

So there you have it! This is how I do it.....

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Humans, Not Patients

If you have not already noticed, health care has slowly grown into somewhat of a "factory" of patients, ruled by corporations, insurance companies and "BIG Pharma", and not exactly in that order. Humans have become just another number in the world of "conveyor-belt" medicine.

Long waits, short visits, and scripted, impersonal care have become commonplace in medical clinics all over the country, and in the meantime, antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medications are on the medication list of over 10% of the American population over age 12. As a matter of fact, there is a medication to fix every ailment now, especially in a world of 15 minute visits where only one concern can be addressed at a time. This leaves just enough room to "stamp" you with an ICD-10 label and to prescribe the newest "band-aid" pharmaceutical for that one problem and to send you on your way.

Merriam Webster defines the term "health" as "the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit", but how can we as health care providers promote this soundness of body, mind, and spirit when we only have 15 minutes to address such a complex myriad of systems and interconnections?

We cannot blame everything on the industry of health care, however, when many health providers are unhappy and frustrated. We have a job as health providers, whether Nurse Practitioner, Doctor, Physician Assistant, etc, to care for those who entrust us with their most precious assets! This does not mean being judgmental, condescending, authoritative, and just plain rude! Instead we should open our ears and listen to concerns as if we are caring for family and friends! We have a big job to do and it is imperative that we do it wholeheartedly and to the best of our ability!