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The Privilege of Being a Healthcare Provider

The Privilege of Being a Healthcare Provider

Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

I would like to share my view of the privilege that we as providers are granted and have available to us. That privilege comes in three parts.

First I wish to focus on the special gifts that were given to me by providers when I was a patient.

I had a high risk pregnancy with my son. I delivered in Danville and had a minor complication. I had to call the on call physician, who was Dr. Melanie Cherry. At the time, I had not met her. She told me what to do and provided reassurance. At the end of the phone call she said, “Congratulations Tara.” It was such a simple thing, but it made a lasting impression on me. I was not just a patient, I had a name.

Our son was premature, and breast feeding was a challenge. I pumped and fed him with a bottle for a year. I was a new mom and very nervous! I was upset about bottle feeding breast milk and Dr. Kristie Kauffman looked at me and said, “It is the milk, not the way!” That was enough to bring me back down to earth. I also was very stressed about getting 16 ounces of milk into our son per day. Dr. Rachel Schwab pointed out that he was on the growth chart, which is great for a premature baby! As providers, all of these things seem obvious, but to a scared mom, those statements meant the world to me! That is the power that we as providers hold.

Next I’d like to share my experience as a provider.

We have all had the nervous, anxious, scared patient in our office who is looking for reassurance. Sometimes patients cry. We can get caught up in time constraints and simply want to move on. But, in those times, our patients need us the most! They need a listening ear. We all have had that patient that sheds a tear and leaves our room feeling better. What a privilege that is! They need to know that they are more than a number. What I have learned in my almost 20 years of doing this comes down to this: when patients feel like they are being heard, they are more apt to listen when we want to get their blood pressure to goal, or manage their diabetes, etc. The patient puts trust in us and that is a precious gift!

Finally, at Mount Nittany Health we are privileged to have each other.

We have an amazing staff of providers. As an Advanced Practice Provider, my supervising physicians have always been available for help, and they are very supportive. Many times I have reached out to specialists with a question or concern about a patient. I have always received a helpful response. I have learned so many things from working at Mount Nittany Health, both as an employee and a patient. We all should be proud of the resources that we provide in taking care of the community. I am one person/patient with a few stories, I imagine the community has many more! We are stronger as a group then any one of us alone!

We all entered medicine for a reason– to help patients and take care of them. Try not to let the stress of day-to-day schedules take that from you. I try to let go of the issues with the EMR, my schedule, time constraints, and my all too frustrating computer. Instead I think about my patients and colleagues; the rewards they give to me are much more than I can ever give them in return!