The Back Story
When I started in Sleep Medicine in 2011, I read volumes of textbooks and loads of articles on the medicine of sleep. I worked closely with a board-certified sleep physician. I looked at a lot of sleep studies and CPAP downloads. I chatted with tons of people suffering with sleep disorders.
It wasn't long before the world of Sleep Medicine came alive to me...and I thought "how cool would it be if it could come alive to my fellow nurse practitioners and physician assistants?"
By 2019, my time in the Sleep Medicine clinic was coming to an end but my time in Pulmonology was beginning...just in time for the pandemic.
In August of 2020, I did a 5-Day EKG challenge and learned that there's a whole world of EKG heart health that doesn't make it into the standard BLS, ACLS, and PALS. I was "shook," as they say. I signed up for the 30-Day EKG Challenge.
As I went along with the challenge, it became clear to me that the answer to most things heart related is sleep apnea. I raised my hand again and again "sleep apnea!"
By October of 2020, I was invited to speak to the group on Obstructive Sleep Apnea. That was also the month that I was given the title of "Sleep Queen."
We talked about how sleep apnea is thought of as a "zebra," but in reality, it's actually a "horse." That lecture was the start of my growth into the world of educating my fellow NP's and PA's.
Fast forward to now. Life looks a lot different than it did back then (thank goodness!).
But one thing hasn't changed - how much I love to geek out about all things sleep and breathing while making clinic life more fulfilling.
Facts About Carrissa
She's been taking care of people with sleep & breathing disorders using her nurse practitioner super-powers since 2011.
She has a master's degree in nursing and is certified as a family nurse practitioner. She lives in Maine.
She is an Army National Guard veteran and credits this experience in helping her learn attention to detail, teamwork, and leadership skills.
She spent time as an adjunct clinical nursing instructor and saw how everyone learns differently.
She has worked in both Sleep Medicine and Pulmonology, and learned in these settings how the clinic is not a classroom.
Because of this, the most important questions patients have go unasked and unaddressed.