8 questions with a nurse practitioner

We’re celebrating Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 11 – 17)! Beaumont has more than 200 NPs and we thought it would be a great time to get to know a little more about them!

We interviewed Heather Lowry, nurse practitioner at Beaumont’s Wolpin Comprehensive Breast Care Center to find out what exactly she does, which part of her job she loves the most and more.

What does a nurse practitioner (NP) do?
Nurse practitioners are highly skilled clinicians who provide a full range of preventive and acute health services. NPs diagnose and manage acute and chronic problems, while emphasizing health and well-being in their approach. We order diagnostic tests, counsel, educate, prescribe medications and treatments and manage overall patient care.

What is the difference between a NP and RN?
NPs are RNs with advance education and training.  We are licensed by the state and hold an RN license in addition to a NP specialty certification. We are both licensed by the state of Michigan, NP’s hold a RN license and NP specialty certification.  An NP has a broader scope of practice and can provide a full range of services such as ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests, diagnosing and treating conditions, prescribing medications and managing overall patient care.

What would surprise most people about your job?
People are often surprised I am an independent provider. I see patients here in the breast care center with any kind of breast problem.

What question are you asked most often?
I often see women who present with a lump in their breast. They are always eager to know what it is that they are feeling and if it could be cancer.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Many of our patients are very nervous when they arrive at the breast care center. I feel like I can really make a difference for these women by alleviating their fears and misconceptions about breast cancer. Most of our patients either leave our center with a sense of relief that their condition is not cancer related or leave feeling reassured that their cancer is treatable.

Why do you enjoy being an NP at Beaumont?
I came back to Beaumont three years ago after working for a private group for eight years. Beaumont is a great health system and I really enjoy the collaboration between the different disciplines at Beaumont.  My co-workers and I truly identify with our mission and really strive to give all of our patients the best care possible.

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s of Science in nursing from Wayne State University as well as a teaching certificate in Nursing Education from Wayne State University.

Do you have any memorable patients?
How can I choose just one? The younger patients affected by breast cancer will always hold a special place in my heart. To see these women persevere and fight their battles with such strength and wonderful attitudes is truly inspirational!

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