Anne Leduc gives us a nurse practitioner’s perspective on healthcare during this interview from the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast with Rob Oliver. Anne is a member of the Baby Boomer generation. She joined Rob from Connecticut. Anne Leduc has retired from her career as a nurse practitioner but is passionate about the profession and ensuring that patients receive high quality care.
Here are 3 things that stood out as Anne Leduc gave us a nurse practitioner’s perspective on healthcare:
- Whether it is short term rehab for long-term care, the goal is for patients to transition back to independent living.
- Quality healthcare means healthcare that is accessible for everyone. Additionally, the healthcare system needs the flexibility that allows people to choose the coverage that suits their needs.
- Preventative care is one way to maintain overall health and cut down on the need for acute medical intervention.
You can learn more about Anne Leduc and connect with her through the link below:
Here is the text of my conversation with Anne Leduc as she gave us a nurse practitioner’s perspective on healthcare:
Introduction to Anne Leduc
Rob Oliver: Thank you and welcome to another episode of perspectives on healthcare. My guest today is Anne McCauley-Leduc. She is a nurse practitioner. She has worked in long-term care as well as short-term rehab. She is from up in Connecticut and I believe is a member of the Baby Boomer Generation. And welcome to the podcast.
Anne Leduc: Hi Rob, thank you for having me. And that’s great, the Baby Boomers, yes.
Rob Oliver: Absolutely, and this is one of the things I think is important to note for the show because I feel like Baby Boomers look at things differently than Generation X, look at things differently than Millennials, and differently than Generation Z. So I’m not asking how old anyone is, we’ll just generally put people into age groups in that way.
Tell me about yourself and your role in healthcare
Rob Oliver: So anyway, listen, let’s start off this way. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your role in healthcare, please.
Anne Leduc: Well, I am a little older, as you well know. I’ve been retired for about six years. And let’s see, I was 51 when I went back to get my nurse practitioner degree. I’d been a registered nurse, obviously, before that, because you have to be a registered nurse to become a nurse practitioner. And I was tired of doing the same thing. I’d done everything. And I said, oh. time to up the game. So I went to school and it was difficult as an older student, but I loved being a nurse practitioner. I worked in long-term care in the nursing homes and also the short-term rehab in the nursing homes. Two different populations, very different and a lot of fun. And then I get to the point where it was time to retire. So now I’m an author and I speak and I relax.
Rob Oliver: Talk to me a little bit about this. Listen, I’m a person with a disability, so I’m a little bit sensitive about nursing homes because a lot of times, people with disabilities end up in nursing homes and they’re not able to get back into the community. Can you talk a little bit about the rehab process to make sure that people get in, they get better, and that they move on rather than being you know, being left in a facility longer than is necessary.
Anne Leduc: Yes, it’s challenging. There’s a lot of steps to go through, but it is so worth it. I know I had a patient that was in our facility, you know, after going through regular rehab, came to us in the nursing home, and he did get an apartment with help. So it, he has done very well in that and He was a quad and, yep, didn’t have too much movement at all. And it’s a place for them. But there needs to be help available, reliable help, 24-hour care and communication. And it’s worth it. Not everybody can. Not everybody chooses to because it’s a challenge.
Rob Oliver: Understood completely. Full disclosure, I’m a quad so I live independently live in the community and I’ll Sorry, I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot and I don’t want to get a sidetracked I Don’t you know on the c5 6 quad as far as 24 7 care I need care in the morning to get to help get up to get you know my breakfast that kind of thing I need help midday to get a lunch, I need help in the evening to get my dinner and to go to bed. But I don’t necessarily have to have someone 24-7, which sometimes it’s an argument that’s given as to why people end up staying in nursing facilities because they need the 24-7 care. It’s a little quibble on my part, but we won’t get stuck there.
Anne Leduc: He was on a respirator. Okay. He had a trach. So there was 24 hour care.
Rob Oliver: Got it.
Anne Leduc: And you’re right. I do know someone else who got out and doesn’t needs a lot of care like you sporadically at different crucial times and has to have the availability to call for help. So there’s all kinds of levels, but from everything it’s possible if you work the right steps and are determined and good for you. I congratulate you.
What is your definition of quality healthcare?
Rob Oliver: Oh, thank you very much. It’s I’ve got a wonderful support system. I’m surrounded by fantastic people. So let’s do this. What does quality healthcare mean to you?
Anne Leduc: Well, I think, first, I think everybody should have some kind of healthcare available to them. I believe in people’s choice, so that hopefully in the future, we can get something that is more a la carte, so that a young healthy male can have certain parts of healthcare that he needs. And that would be very different than a young woman who wants to have a family, and is gonna go through pregnancies. And when you get older, you need different kinds of help. And I think having some options would be good. I don’t believe in socialized medicine per se, it’s all the same for everybody. And, but I think we need to move in that direction that people can have some. kind of help. The other thing for quality is affordable medications. I know when President Trump was in, starting in January of 2021, he had made a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that Americans would pay the lower price of drugs that they sell the drugs to other countries. That kind of fell by the wayside. when President Biden took over and I would like to see that come back so that we aren’t paying. Why are we paying in America more when the companies are here? And I think that should be investigated so that people can afford their meds. A tube of little salve that my husband needs, now he just had a major burn, was $300 out of our pocket. And I said, Whoa, you know, that’s medication payment for everybody. I know they’re working on something for Medicare to lower the cost. But if you’re not on Medicare, you need help. So that I would like to see. And I think you need to do treatment of conditions and illnesses. But you also need preventive care. And time has prevented the preventive care aspect from being a major part. And I think it would be good to get back to that. Then if you’re prevent illness, you’re better off and then you won’t need the acute medicine. You still get sick. But I think that that’s for me, that those points are quality, quality care, healthcare.
Rob Oliver: And again, not to make this all about me, but I understand exactly where you’re coming from because I acquired my disability when I was 21. So, A typical 21-year-old male is not going to need a ton of medical coverage from health insurance. But there is a need to have the coverage to make sure that if something… I don’t view what happened to me as catastrophic, but I think that that’s the term that would be likely used. When something catastrophic happens, there is the resources there to take care of that. And I think what you’re talking about… Especially with Medicare, a lot of the companies that are out there draw their reimbursement schedule based on what Medicare reimburses and so if the advocacy can be done to Address what’s going on for people who receive Medicare. It may be something that has an impact on you know on Reimbursement rates across the board when it comes to prescription drugs. So something interesting to think about there.
Anne Leduc: Yeah. I also think that when they make policy for these, for healthcare, they need to bring in doctors, nurse practitioners, PAs, the ones that deal with the patients, pharmacists, and policy makers and insurance people. It needs to be more of a team, team effect to come up with the right kind of steps that people can get for healthcare. We need a revamp, that’s for sure.
Rob Oliver: I agree with that and from my personal perspective, I feel like patients need to be involved in the mix as well to talk about their own needs and make sure that they’re not lost in the process. But that’s, again, I’ve got a lot of personal baggage here. So it’s all good.
Can you give me an example of quality healthcare?
Rob Oliver: Can you give me an example of quality health care, please?
Anne Leduc: One comes to mind, say if you’re a diabetic, you should have access to, for the best care, access to the monitor system so that you don’t have to prick your fingers. If you choose, you may choose to have your fingers pricked because you’re used to it and you don’t care and it doesn’t hurt. I had my finger pricked once and it hurt like heck. So I think that having the right equipment available for anyone who wants it, again, choice for each person. They need to have regular office visits for followup and they need to have a dietician available, not all the time, but someone to help with the right diet and also some kind of exercise. There’s different aspects to preventive health that I think should be automatic and kind of built into the path that someone can go along. And whether that’s one dietician to serve a lot, several groups of doctor offices or whatever it is, kind of a revamp of the system. Get people what they need, keep them healthy, and help them get their treatments that they need. That would be, and the meds, of course, for diabetics, the one we’re talking about, would be reasonably paid. It may not all be paid, but something manageable so that they can have their meds and eat also.
Rob Oliver: Sure. To me, it sounds like we need a bit of a culture shift, okay, in which many times we have people who are looking for a pill to solve all of their problems when it could be that there is lifestyle or diet change that could contribute to making the changes to the… to their own health. So if a diabetic, for example, were to do a little bit more exercise and to change the way that they eat, to have that dietician helping to guide them, and to do it in a way that is economically feasible, because sometimes eating healthy is a little bit more costly, but just changing the cultural expectations of having a pill to fix everything versus actually having to make changes in your own lifestyle. What are your thoughts on that?
Anne Leduc: I think that’s exactly right. And it could be for the cardiac patient, the patient with respiratory problems. Everybody has a different path to go. And there should be help for that patient to try to get better, stay better, and get motivated. That’s the hard thing too. But it can be done. If we revamp everything, those are big dreams.
What do you wish people understood about your role in healthcare?
Rob Oliver: Understood, understood completely. What do you wish people understood about your role in healthcare?
Anne Leduc: As a nurse practitioner, some people think that we’re nurses, which we are, but they don’t realize that we have to be a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree to go into nurse practitioner school. And then you go two or three years more to get the knowledge to diagnose and treat. patients. So, and then you have to you do clinical, you know, you’re, I did clinical in a primary care office. And then you take medical boards. So I am board certified in adult medicine. Nurse practitioners have one have a track that they do. I can’t do pediatrics. I am certified for adult medicine. If you want pediatrics, you go to a school for pediatrics. GYN, OBGYN, you know, that’s maternity, that’s a different path. Psych is a different path. Sometimes we can interplay, I can order psych meds, but psych nurse practitioners can’t do general meds. So there’s a little bit of a crossover, but basically we’re in our path. And it depends on the states. Each state has a different role for nurse practitioners. In Connecticut, we collaborate for a year, at least we used to, with a doctor. And now then you can be independent. Some states, they are not independent. They have to be under the care of, or the wings of the doctor. So it kind of depends state to state.
Rob Oliver: Right. I think what’s really important to highlight in there is that you do have prescription writing abilities as a nurse practitioner. And so many times I feel like there are people who say, like, well, you’re just a nurse, but what you’re doing as a nurse practitioner is so much, it’s… It’s nursing in nature. It has the, I’ve heard someone describe it as, it has the compassionate side of nursing, but it also has the power, the prescription writing power of what physicians have. How does that resonate with you?
Anne Leduc: Yeah, yeah. We are nurses and we see the patient through the, Eyes of a nurse. So we see the patient holistically, and that’s the nursing model that we’re trained under. Doctors are trained under a medical model that looks at the symptoms, the illness, and the treatment for the illness. So it’s not to say that some doctors don’t see the whole patient, or that some nurse practitioners don’t just look at the, the symptoms and the disease and treat, and that’s it. But just the models are very different what we train under. So once a nurse, always a nurse.
What excites you about the future of healthcare?
Rob Oliver: Sure. Makes a lot of sense. What excites you about the future of health care?
Anne Leduc: Well, the technology is amazing. I mean, just the fact that the, say, the diabetics go back to the diabetics having the little instruments that they can use to get their blood sugars automatically recorded. They can see what they are. They can go to the doctor’s office. That’s huge. the artificial limbs that have come out, the equipment that they’ve developed to help people. It’s just the, it’s just amazing, the science, it’s endless. And it’s, and we’ll keep growing in that, but we still have the patients that have the equipment and that’s where our role comes in.
Rob Oliver: Yeah.
Anne Leduc: Does that make sense?
Rob Oliver: No, I think it does. And ultimately at the end of the day, is central to health care is the patient, right?
Anne Leduc: Yes.
Rob Oliver: Without patients, there’s no need for health care. And if the patients aren’t being cared for and aren’t feeling valued by the system, then the system is not serving the people that it ultimately was designed to serve. Does that make sense to you at all?
Anne Leduc: It’s all about the patients. We’re doing our job for the patients. And at some point, we are patients. And we’ve been on the other side. But it is about the patients and health.
Rob Oliver: When I’m doing my keynote presentations, that is I’m bringing the patient’s perspective on quality health care. And at the same time, having started this podcast, I’m able to bring a whole new realm of understanding about quality health care and the future of healthcare based on what the practitioners are sharing with me. So it’s been so informative and helpful and I appreciate you being a part of that process. Last question for you.
What can medical professionals do to improve healthcare quality?
Rob Oliver: What is one thing medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of healthcare?
Anne Leduc: One thing, well, I would encourage the patient to advocate for themselves and their families. And that means know your diagnoses, keep a written record of your diagnoses, everything about you medically. That’s important. When you go to the doctor, have your questions written down and write down the answers and ask questions and… advocate for yourself because you are the patient and we wouldn’t leave our bank statements to the bank. You don’t want to leave your health to the system. People make mistakes, computers, you know, aren’t always up to date. So you advocate for yourself. And that would be my biggest tip. But we have to give them permission. Sometimes patients don’t want to ask questions. They feel, oh, I can’t say that to the doctors ask questions. Yes, you can. And I’m here to tell you can and you should And it’s the way you do it, not what you say, it’s how you say it. And it’s okay, and that’s what the future has to be. You have to stand up and be the patient, and we’re glad.
Rob Oliver: Yeah, so there’s two sides to that. The one is encouraging medical professionals to empower patients to be self-advocates, and the other is encouraging patients to just do that, to be as informed about their diagnosis as possible. As well to be vocal about their own personal goals, because sometimes a medical professional can only help you get to where you need to be if they know what you’re doing and where you’re going. And so, for me, it’s not just, I need to be able to be independent, to be able to travel, to be able to get out and speak, to do all of those things. So what I’m looking for when I’m at the doctor might be a little bit different than someone who, you know, is staying home and is not involved in the active lifestyle that I have. It all depends. So, letting the medical professional know where you are and what your goals are is also going to be part of that process. Listen, Anne, thank you so much for being with me. I appreciate you. I appreciate you taking your time. And I respect your perspective on healthcare.
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