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This is Health News from Helen Newberry Joy Hospital and Healthcare Center, and today we talk with Carol Norman Family Nurse Practitioner. Carol, did you always see yourself in healthcare as a child? I was always interested in the medical shows, but never really knew that I wanted to get into the medical field. I did work in my younger years as a nurse’s aide and then had thought of going on to school to become a teacher while I was in the hospital. I met a nursing instructor and she sort of talked me into going to nursing school. So I initially went for my LPN, and after that, I worked in the Intensive Care Unit at Marquette General and while there I went on for my bachelor’s degree in nursing and continued to work several years after I completed my bachelor’s degree. They started a nurse practitioner program at Northern so I applied and went through their first class. This was 24 years ago.
Where is your practice take you in the area at present? I work 3 days a week in the clinic in Curtis. I do family practice so I see everybody from birth to the very aged. I also work one day a week with Dr. Washington who’s a pulmonary specialist and I work with sleep medicine, and I’m also starting to see some pulmonary patients as well. And then one day a week I do rounds at the local nursing home at Golden Leaves Living Center, seeing patients there in managing their care and I alternate with Dr. Rao making rounds. Actually, I really love my job. I feel this is a calling for me and it’s a service that I can provide to the community. I like all aspects of the patients that I see from birth to the elderly. I like chronic disease management probably the best because I feel like I can make a difference and improve their outcomes. I really like working with diabetics and I know from having worked in intensive care all of the complications that can occur with diabetes. So I want to be on the front lines of helping to prevent those complications. I like geriatrics a lot and am enjoying my day at the nursing home. I’m also really adjusting well to doing the sleep and pulmonary medicine and those again are dealing with chronic health problems.
And you must enjoy the rural aspect of healthcare? I grew up in Palmer which is a small mining town just south of Marquette and then when I went for my nurse practitioner training, I did all my clinical courses in rural Health Clinic settings, and I think there’s just a need for providers that I think small communities are the best. I think the working environment you have in a small community of rural Health you work together as a team because resources are not always there like they are in a large Metropolitan Hospital. So you become a family and I love it there.
So many more nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants, then there were 10 or 15 years ago. So things are changing in medicine where we have more nurse practitioners and physician assistants. But we also have the supervision of a physician in carrying out our patient’s needs. So I’ve been a practitioner for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of things in my career and feel confident that I can bring the best care possible to my patients. You keep on mentioning family and teamwork. It is a very big team approaching. You’re almost like one big family. We are all working out for the best interest of our patients and that’s one thing I like about Helen Newberry Joy. They’re very proactive. They’re very patient-oriented and it’s important to me to know that we care about our patients so much in our management team that puts the patients first as well.