Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Peak Vista welcomes nurse practitioner

By Will Bublitz

“Professional” and “caring” are the words that best describe Kendra Back, a family nurse practitioner, who recently joined the staff of Peak Vista Community Health Center in Limon.

Kendra began work at the Peak Vista’s Limon clinic on June 1.

“As a nurse practitioner, I see patients from birth to geriatric,” she said. “I treat a variety of acute and chronic conditions. I can also handle emergency situations such as suturing wounds. I’m here to help my patients.”

Kendra comes to her new position at Peak Vista after working all of her adult life in health care. She holds Associate and Master’s degrees in nursing.

As a nurse practitioner, Kendra is trained to perform many of the same tasks that physicians can do.
“I’m a mid-level provider of medical care,” she said. “I can prescribe treatment and write prescriptions as needed by my patients. I also do certain medical procedures.”

Kendra’s demanding work as a nurse practitioner requires her to diagnose a patient’s illness and then prescribe the proper treatment.

“I work independently and have my own set of patients,” she said. “In Colorado, nurse practitioners are not required to work with a supervising physician, but I do consult with the medical center’s physicians at times.”

Like most nurse practitioners, Kendra specializes in a particular area of health care.

“All nurse practitioners have their own niche,” she said. “One of my friends is a pediatric nurse practitioner who handles infants two weeks old and up. I have another nurse practitioner friend who specializes in dermatology. But I chose to become a family nurse practitioner because I like treating the members of the whole family.”

Kendra explained that as a family nurse practitioner, she can treat pregnant mothers up to 27 weeks gestation. Her practice also includes providing health care for adults and the elderly.
“As a family nurse practitioner, I treat patients of all ages,” she said. “I like that because I’m personally very family oriented.”

In addition to her work at the Peak Vista clinic, Kendra said she enjoys small towns like Limon.
“I’ve always been a country girl and I really like it here,” she said. “This is a lot like the community where I grew up.”

Born in Fairbanks, Alaska while her father was serving in the U.S. Army, Kendra moved back to her parents’ hometown of Alvaton, Ky., a small rural community a few miles from the city of Bowling Green. Her grandmother, who was a nurse, inspired her to seek a career in medicine.

Following her career dreams after graduating from high school, Kendra entered a program to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Kentucky.

“After I became an LPN, I worked in a nursing home, home health and pediatrics for 14 years,” she said. “Then I went back to school to become an RN (Registered Nurse) at a satellite college of the University of Kentucky inLouisville. I graduated as an RN in 2000.”

As an RN, Kendra worked at the University of Louisville Hospital in its Level 3 intensive care unit where she took care of infants. She later accepted a position at the nearby Norton Hospital where she served as an adult medical/surgical nurse.

Seeking to further her medical abilities, Kendra entered the Nurse Practitioner program at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Ky. She graduated from that three-year program in 2012 with a Masters Degree in Science of Nursing in Family Practice.

“To graduate, I needed only 700 clinical hours but I ended up with more than 1,200 hours,” she said. “That was a lot more than what was required, but it was great experience.”

Following graduation, Kendra’s first job as a Nurse Practitioner was at a rural health clinic in Arcadia, Fla.

“We were 20 minutes from the beach, but I didn’t like it there,” she said. “Florida is brutally hot in the summer, and I really missed the change in seasons. Also, it was city and I’m a country girl, so I wanted to move.”

A few months ago, a recruiter contacted her about the Nurse Practitioner position offered by Peak Vista  at its Limon clinic.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” Kendra said. “I wanted to work in a rural, family-oriented medical center and Peak Vista fit the bill.”

Kendra and her family arrived at her new home in Peyton, Colo. on May 30, and she went to work the next day at Peak Vista in Limon.

“Everybody has been extremely friendly since I started here,” she said. “I don’t think I could have picked a better job. And I just love Col
orado. The people are friendly, the weather is great and the scenery is awesome. I’m staying.”
Her husband, Scott Back, is a middle/high school teacher. They have four grown children as well as a 14-year-old daughter.

Kendra is a member of the American Academic of Nurse Practitioners. Her hobbies include hiking, photography and reading.


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