Profiles in Telehealth: An NP and mom-of-seven finds balance in her busy life with virtual care

Tara W. gives a glimpse into her busy life managing a house of seven kids and delivering virtual care as a family nurse practitioner. Since deciding to try something new and joining the Wheel Care Team, Tara has more time to attend her kids’ events, serve her community, and take care of herself.

What’s your background and what brought you to virtual care?

I am a Family Nurse Practitioner and have been practicing since 2010. When I started out, I specialized in Pulmonary and Critical Care, which was amazing. When I finally went back to family practice, I worked in more rural areas, seeing patients in the clinic, managing their inpatient hospital care, and doing ER and urgent care.

I then went to just strictly ER and worked 24-hour shifts (as volumes picked up, sometimes 24-hour shifts turned into 36-48; whew!). Before coming to Wheel, I split my time in the clinic managing the clinic and seeing patients. It is not hard to say that the patients were the best part!

What’s your life like outside of work?

I live in southwest Wisconsin with my husband and our 7 kids. Life is crazy but well worth it! My husband and I compete in Crossfit and workout daily (sometimes 2-3 times a day).

Our kids are all very active. Our oldest is 21 and the next 20, so needless to say they are living their own lives and pop in to say hi. Our oldest daughter is a senior in high school and has signed to play college soccer. Our 17-year-old son is a true computer wiz and loves to paintball when he’s not working. Our 15-year-old daughter plays AAU ball and is striving to play D1 basketball and also plays club volleyball. Our 13-year-old daughter plays travel softball in an older division and is an amazing catcher. She also plays basketball and volleyball. Our 11-year-old son plays football, basketball, and baseball.

What brought you to telemedicine?

After Covid became a thing and I was managing the clinic and seeing patients, I was first introduced to telemedicine. It was such a great way to provide care in so many different ways while keeping our patients’ risks down. That particular job had many stressors with a blended role of provider and management. I was ready to try something new, and that is when I found Wheel.

What’s your Wheel Moment of Freedom?

The flexibility I found with Wheel has been amazing. It allows me to actually take care of myself. I am able to meet my personal goals and the needs of my family.

Previously, I was missing a lot of the events my kids had, which is hard to do as a parent. I take the time to coach the kids in our community, to help at different functions like volunteering at fire department functions for fundraisers, and can make time to meal prep and cook without stress. Life is still busy, but the balance is so much better.

What do you think the future of healthcare holds?

I am so excited to see virtual primary care services being offered for patients. There is so much we can do. Having the time to talk with patients and actually listen to them is priceless.

We have endless possibilities by creating ways for patients to have access to labs and x-rays and be able to follow-up virtually. So much stress is removed from the patient when they don’t have to travel to a physical clinic. Mental health patients have great access to care (although it is still a wait).

Thanks, Tara, for being an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam!

Interested in joining our team of virtual care clinicians? Learn more about working in telehealth with Wheel.

Discover more clinician experiences in our previous Care Team spotlight interviews with an an APRN on why she practices in virtual care, an LCSW on how he got started in virtual therapy, and an NP on fulfilling her dream of working completely remote.