Recognizing nurse practitioners who serve Texans

Nurse practitioners are one of the many groups of healthcare professionals who selflessly and relentlessly provide quality care to Texans everyday.

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Serving Beyond

NPs serve Texans from treating a common cold, to finding cancer.

There's NPs serving in family clinics, large hopsitals and student health centers. Wherever there's a medical facility, there's a high probability there's a NP there ready to serve patients.

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Q & A with NP Laura Greek from Texas State Student Health Center

Below we are highlighting Family Nurse Practitioner Laura Greek. Greek works at Texas State University’s Student Health Care Center – treating and providing care to students for everything from the common flu and diabetes, to providing vaccines and life-saving preventative screenings. Continue reading to find out about one of Greek’s patient success stories and how she is involved in her community outside of the health center.

Q: Why did you choose to become an NP?

“I was a student at the University of Texas in Austin, and I had gone to my student health center there. I was making small talk with my provider and I ask, ‘So you’re a doctor?’ She responds, ‘No, actually I’m a nurse practitioner.’ I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I was always interested in healthcare and I was already studying biology at UT. Being an NP is the perfect hybrid of a nurse and a doctor.”

Q: Where do you work, and what makes your practice setting unique?

“What I love about working at the Texas State Student Health Center is the fact that the traditional college student is about 18-22 years old and making the important transition to becoming an adult. They’re learning how to present themselves, how to present their concerns, and how to make decisions on their own or sometimes with a parent on the phone. We get into talking about health and wellness, family history, and mental health. Some come to college with chronic diseases like diabetes, and we don’t take anything for granted. That’s what makes it challenging. But college is an exciting and inspiring time, and I always feel a connection with the students. They keep me young!”

Q: Can you share a patient success story or a patient story that really inspired you?

“It’s a wonderful story with a good outcome. I had a patient who came in with back pain and a fever. We examined her abdomen and ran some tests, and a CT scan showed it was cancer. Fortunately, we found it in time because it was just a millimeter from her aorta. The patient had to go through major treatment, chemo and radiation but is now in remission and healthy. She always reaches out and thanks me for listening to her. It’s a very special story to me. On a personal level, I feel like she did as much or more for me than I ever did for her.”

Q: You are a leader with Hill Country Nurse Practitioner Association. Can you tell us about HCNP and why it’s so important to be involved with your local NP organization?

“I love this organization! It started informally by a few NPs, some of whom I went to school with. When I moved to San Marcos, I was working with some of the ladies of the organization. I’ve been in every office – a legislative liaison, a social media person, among other positions. Those relationships are so important, and we’re are able to help each other out and help students. It’s a lifetime thing and it’s also fun.”

Q: What is your biggest practice barrier as an NP? Why do you think it’s important for NPs to advocate for policy change in Texas to remove barriers like these?

“Right now in Texas the requirement that all NPs have a delegation agreement with a physician prevents me from being able to practice to the full extent of my training and education. I can be an NP for 50 years, but I’ll still always need a physician to practice and that’s a barrier. I really think it’s important NPs are able care for patients to the full extent of our practice. We have the knowledge and the safe practice space. It’s important to provide care safely and in collaboration with other providers, but the research consistently shows that NPs are doing that. We’ve been providing safe, quality care to patients for decades.”

Q: What is a cause or organization you support outside of TNP?

“I’m a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Nurses Association and Texas Nurses Association. I’m involved in my neighborhood association and trying to get more involved in community issues and issues involving the county. I’m really interested in public health nursing and state-wide operations and pay a lot of attention to public health issues. I’m also involved in environment preservation with the Sierra Club.”

Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not on the job?

“I love to play with my dogs, go hiking, and high-intensity workouts. I love to travel and hang out with my family. I traveled all over Europe and look forward to going back this coming summer. I also love Hawaii and the Dominican Republic."

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Greek shares her most significant story of when she found cancer in a patient at the student health center during a basic exam.

NPs go above and beyond serving basic healthcare needs. Many NPs change and save lives.

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