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Meet our Nurse Practioners: Lauren Cook and Melissa Foster

Blog

Meet our Nurse Practioners: Lauren Cook and Melissa Foster

Our Q&A reveals why they love being NP’s at VPFW

November 8-14 is National Nurse Practioner week! We are happy to have these two amazing nurse practitioners as an important part of the VPFW family: Melissa Foster (left) and Lauren Cook (right). And as you can see, they are happy to have each other here, too 😊 We asked them a few questions to find out why they love being NP’s at VPFW…

First, what exactly is a nurse practitioner?

Lauren Cook: “We are registered nurses, first, then we go through special advanced education in our desired field.  We are trained to properly assess patients, order, and interpret laboratory findings and diagnostic tests.  We can diagnose diseases, prescribe medications to treat, and develop a treatment plan based on a diagnosis.”

Melissa Foster: “We are specifically trained to care for women and all the uniqueness of being a woman!”

Why do you each enjoy being an NP?

Lauren Cook: “I am a problem solver and I really enjoy having the ability to help a patient through their concerns or problems.  It is a challenge to get a patient back to feeling their best, no matter the issue.  I LOVE a good challenge and putting the puzzle pieces together to improve or “fix” a patient is one of the things I enjoy the most … besides the patients themselves of course.”

Melissa Foster: “I love being an NP because I have the unique perspective of a nurse. Having cared for patients at their bedside while hospitalized, I learned the compassion and empathy people need when they are most vulnerable. Having the additional training to diagnose and treat, I can also help beyond that and sometimes (hopefully) actually resolve issues my patients are concerned with.”

What areas of OB/GYN are you most passionate about? 

Lauren Cook: “I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the OBGYN world, honestly, however I have a special place in my heart and a passion for the aging population.  I love all things that come with aging and menopause … I have recently been diving in and gaining more experience with urogynecology, which has a major role in gynecology for aging women.

Melissa Foster: “I really do love it all! I particularly enjoy caring for young women who are learning how to take care of their bodies and just how valuable they are to our world. I love PREVENTATIVE care! I want to keep women “happy, healthy, and not pregnant until they want to be so” – that means preventing STIs, cancers, and anything that can make them be physically and mentally unwell!”

What do you love about your VPFW patients? 

Lauren Cook: “Each patient is always so appreciative of the care we provide them, no matter how major or minor it may be.  Our patients come from all different phases of life, and I love it.  The variety keeps me on my toes.  No matter the phase of life they’re in, I find it important to get to know each patient’s background as I meet them and begin to care for them.  I want to learn their careers, hobbies, etc.  It helps me stay connected and improves communication with them throughout their care here at VPFW. ”

Melissa Foster: “I love that our patients feel at home when they come here and that they grow to feel like family.”