Q&A with FNP Amy Moore
Amy Moore, RN, MSN, FNP-C, received her associate's degree in nursing from Western Oklahoma State College. She also received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. She is currently working as a nurse practitioner at Grace Clinic and a nursing instructor at Texas Tech University, both located in Lubbock, Texas. She was also recently awarded the honor of "Nurse of the Year" from the Texas Nurses Association.
Grace Clinic was developed by anesthesiologist Dr. Randy Hickle. At the clinic, patients are able to receive several treatments, including lab work, X-rays, mammograms, colonoscopies and minor surgeries. Other features include a completely computerized system, private waiting rooms and short wait times for patients and, most importantly, says Moore, positive attitudes from all of the staff members.
Q: When and how did you decide that you wanted to work in Women's Health?
A: I decided in 2005 after talking with an OB/Gyn doctor. I had never been interested in Women's Health but after speaking with the physician, I decided to try it for a short period of time. He needed help [at Grace Clinic] for a few months and I offered to help out over the summer. I've been there since April 2004.
Q: What made you stay at Grace Clinic?
A: It's just the most friendly atmosphere I've ever been in. It's the most awesome place to work. I work for very good physicians. Their primary focus is on patient health with an emphasis on disease prevention. We want patients to feel good about themselves. That is so important. It may be simply encouraging them to lose weight by eating good meals, exercising or by just sitting and talking with them.
Q: As a colon cancer survivor, do you think that you are able to personally connect with many of the women you work with? How do women respond to you when you tell them?
A: The response is incredible. When I can tell a woman about the things like colon cancer, and when I can give them a personal experience and say, "I had colon cancer at the age of 40, but I was cured," I can get the majority of my patients to have a colonoscopy.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face working in Women's Health?
A: The biggest challenge, not only in Women's Health but I think in other areas, is compliance from patients. It may be getting a patient to lose weight or have a colonoscopy. A majority of patients see me because they are willing to take care of themselves, but for some, it's really difficult.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of working in this specialty?
A: [Patients] come in and say, ‘You know, I had that colonoscopy and I want to tell you it was all clear,' or they can tell me that they had a colonoscopy and they had polyps, but they were so glad that they went. And they're very appreciative of it.
I once had a patient write a letter and ask me to speak to the local teachers' association that she was involved in. She was appreciative that I had encouraged her and took the time to tell her the importance of having a colonoscopy. She was relieved to know she was clear of colon cancer and wanted others to know of the importance and the ease of the exam.
It's very rewarding to teach other women about what it means to be healthy and how we can prevent so many diseases. We can prevent cardiovascular disease, we can prevent colon cancer, we can cure breast cancer if it's caught early, and so I take that on as a personal interest.
Q: What advice do you have for others thinking about pursuing a career in Women's Health?
A: My certification is as a Family Nurse Practitioner. If interested in pursuing a career in any specialty, focus your training in that area. I'm glad that my certification is an FNP, but I wish I had spent more time learning about Women's Health during and after school.
Q: How has working in this specialty helped you to grow professionally?
A: Working in Women's Health has helped me focus in areas that pertain to women. I believe it is easier to become an expert in one area instead multiple areas.
Q: What is the most important thing you've learned thus far in your career?
A: I am amazed how much I love working in Women's Health. I would advise every new NP to take time to look at every area.
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