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“The best way to care for a patient is to know the whole family.”
Sue Rose had decided on her future career by the age of 10. She enjoyed caring for others, and health care seemed a natural fit.
She began her career in a hospital pediatric unit. “I very much enjoyed pediatrics, but in a hospital setting there is no continuity,” she says. “You don’t get to see the patients after they’re released, or follow their progress.” Her transition to a doctor’s office provided the continuity that she was seeking. “As a nurse practitioner, my major focus is on wellness and keeping a patient healthy,” she says. “Moving to a medical practice setting allowed me to experience continuity as I began to increasingly treat multiple members of a family.”
Family history tells a health care provider a lot, but there is still more to the story, according to Sue. “As a health care provider, I am interested in both a personal history and a family history, but that’s just the beginning. There is a personal side – a relationship – that develops between the health care provider and the family, at which point you begin to understand their unique dynamic. I personally feel I can take care of individual members more completely when I know them on a number of levels.”
This is a two-way relationship for Sue. Her patients know that she is a mother, wife and daughter. “Just the fact that my patients know a little about me makes them feel comfortable talking with me about many things besides their health, such as social life, anxieties, school, time management, etc. I also try to talk to them at their level in terms they understand. When speaking with teens, I am pretty blunt about possible consequences of their actions – smoking, drugs, relationships, and unhealthy habits.” Sue also utilizes the resources of a clinical care coordinator to help her patients – from school-aged children to senior adults – who may need counseling, nutrition advice, home care or other social services.
As a family nurse practitioner, Sue provides her patients with all aspects of general and preventive care, including diagnoses, treatments, consultations, checkups, ordering lab tests and prescribing medication. She is also certified by the state of New Jersey to perform student-athlete cardiac assessments for pre-participation sports physicals.
During her off hours, Sue enjoys spending time with her husband, four children and three grandchildren. She also keeps busy assisting her aging parents and being involved in her church. She loves to create, and in her spare time she is a seamstress who unwinds at her sewing machine or by doing crochet projects.