Profiles in Telehealth - An NP Channels Personal Health Challenges into a Telehealth Career
Wheel nurse practitioner, Ginger K., channeled her personal struggles with endometriosis into a fulfilling career in healthcare. After traveling around the world for a year, she realized telehealth offered unparalleled freedom and flexibility. Her main piece of advice? Get all your licenses and just do it! (Warning: Major travel eye-candy ahead!)
What's your professional story?
My background is in emergency medicine and urgent care. I graduated from NP school in 2006 but took a few months to work as a travel RN before settling into my first NP position. I started in urgent care and slowly moved my way to emergency medicine. I ended up in some of Dallas's busiest ER's before I finally transitioned to telehealth.
My decision to get into healthcare came from my own experiences with healthcare when I was in high school, after being diagnosed with endometriosis. I knew I could provide the empathy that patients needed to help ease their time in an otherwise unsettling situation.
What's your life like outside of work?
Currently my life revolves around my energetic 22-month-old son. My husband and I have gone through a lot in the last 4-5 years to make him a reality. Through my struggles with endometriosis I lost both of my ovaries. My sister has lovingly undergone three rounds of egg donation for us now, and we were beyond thrilled to welcome our son into this world in 2020.
Before becoming a mother, I travelled almost monthly, loved photography, and competed in six half Ironman races and one full Ironman, and spent about a month per year in Hawaii with my best friend.
What brought you to virtual care?
In 2015 I decided to take a year off work and travel the world. I wanted to have some way of working if I needed the money, so I looked into telemedicine. I ended up taking the entire year for travel, but after experiencing that much freedom, I decided to pursue telemedicine once I returned home.
What's it like to work with Wheel?
Working with Wheel has been pivotal for me since becoming a mother. The flexibility I've had and the ability to work days or nights — without being forced to work either — has been amazing. If someone is interested in telehealth, I would say dive in fully. I would 100% tell myself in 2016 to apply for every single state license at once. Getting your licenses one by one actually adds so much additional work! Just do it, dive in!
What do you think the future of healthcare holds?
I feel like I've really seen telehealth evolve since the beginning. It's amazing to see large companies as well as patients realize its value throughout the pandemic. I'm excited to see our patients have easier access to care, and I'm thrilled to see the many ways I think that care will expand. The sky is the limit!
Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your personal story and congratulations on growing your family! Empathetic clinicians like you truly make a difference in this world.
For more check out our previous care team spotlights with a psychology nerd and mental health champion, a virtual care DNP and world traveler, and an NP's journey from candy striper to virtual care.
Interested in joining a team of virtual care clinicians? Learn about working in telehealth with Wheel.