Nurse Practitioner, Stacey B., shares how a memorable experience led her to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner and her thoughts on telehealth’s role in expanding access to healthcare.
What’s your background? What did you do before practicing telemedicine?
My career began in nursing 26 years ago as a cardiology/ICU nurse straight out of nursing school. My nursing journey took me to many areas of medicine, such as oncology, pain management, PACU/ambulatory surgery, occupational medicine, infusion therapy, and orthopedics. I finally took the leap and went back to school to fulfill my goal of becoming a nurse practitioner in 2015 after a more-than-memorable surgery made me realize the need for compassionate providers in healthcare.
I currently run an ambulatory infusion center seeing both acute and chronic patients in my suites. I am also the nurse manager for the home infusion side where we care for and see patients from 10 counties within the Chicagoland area.
What’s your life like outside of work?
I live in the Chicagoland area and am married to my soulmate who is an Acting Battalion Chief for the Fire Department. I have two awesome, grown kids—my daughter is 29 and my son is 24. I have two sweet, furry sons who never leave my side. I was a die-hard athlete playing softball, playing volleyball, and cheerleading. However, due to health issues, I am no longer able to physically participate, but I join in by watching from the side lines and cheering on my favorite teams.
I love anything outdoors, but hiking, exploring abandoned buildings/homes, swimming, gardening, and crafting are my therapy. My husband and I love to see new places and our goal is to be able to travel more and see what the world has to offer us!
What brought you to telemedicine?
COVID really changed the trajectory of my life and healthcare overall. I was opening a new clinic with a provider when it hit and they had to shut down. So, I started looking for something I could do from home while working as a COVID nurse at some area hospitals to help out. I found Wheel and was hooked! I began with Wheel providing COVID screenings, and from there it’s history.
I have been providing telehealth visits for patients in my clinic as well, and it has helped so many people have more access to healthcare! I believe that telehealth is helping to reach many more people who normally did not seek care simply because of telehealth’s ease, flexibility, and convenience.
What’s your Wheel Moment of Freedom?
With Wheel, I can be home when a family member is ill or a service provider needs to get into the house. Normally, I would have been at work and unable to be here. With Wheel, I schedule time that works with my schedule and my family. I can pick up my laptop and work from wherever I want—by my pool, on my porch, while traveling, etc.
What do you think the future of healthcare holds?
I have always felt the need for telehealth. Now telehealth is the new trend and COVID has helped prove this. It allows us to reach patients who need us, those who may not have access to healthcare or who may not have sought out care because of the need to attend visits in person on a provider's schedule, not the patient's schedule. Many patients have to work or have families to take care of. It is sometimes difficult for them to take off work or find someone to take care of the family in order to get the care they need.
Thanks, Stacey, 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 a family NP on taking the leap to full-time telemedicine, an NP on why joining Wheel has been her best career decision, an NP who found work-life balance providing in-person and virtual care.