Nurse Practitioners – empowering patients to take care of their own health

I’m a Nurse Practitioner and I currently work in the community of Fort Qu’Appelle, just outside of Regina. I absolutely love working in a smaller community as I am able to provide care to many people who don’t otherwise have access to primary healthcare. I also have the privilege of working the outpatient emergency department which I absolutely love. Being a Nurse Practitioner in the emergency department enables me to provide care for minor injuries and illnesses, as well to manage the care of more critically acute patients with the assistance of my coworkers.

It is different working in a small community – you don’t have all the resources that you do in the city, but it’s also very rewarding. You get a sense of what people are about and where they’ve come from. Many of the people we care for in Fort Qu’Appelle are from surrounding areas and reserves.  Many will drive over an hour and a half to come to our facility to receive care – it’s such a privilege to be able to assist them in their health care needs.

One of the things I love most about being a Nurse Practitioner is health promotion and illness prevention. I truly believe that when people know better, they do better, and they are able make better choices, and that leads to a healthier lifestyle and an overall happier life.

As a Nurse Practitioner I am a registered nurse, but I have advanced nursing education, which allows me to diagnose common and acute illnesses, as well as prescribe appropriate medication regimes.

I’m able to listen to a person’s symptoms, to diagnose what the problem is, to write prescriptions for the medications they need, to health teach and to promote new avenues and ways for them to improve their overall health – I view my patients in a very holistic way. With my advanced training, I am able to care for patients with very minor needs as well as for those who are critically and acutely ill.

I absolutely love doing what I do. Ever since I was 5 years old I wanted to be a nurse. Being a Nurse Practitioner has allowed me to help people and empower them to take care of their own health as well to be a patient advocate. If I could do it all over again I would do it exactly the same.

MariElena Guerrero, RN(NP)