Heidi Roy, 33
Nurse practitioner, Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine
As a nurse practitioner with Cardiovascular Consultants in Scarborough, Heidi Roy sees patients at their most vulnerable. That’s why she feels her five years as a cardiac nurse before earning her advanced degree has been such an important part of her training.
“Most have had a traumatic event,” she says. “They depend on you for a lot of their primary needs. My background helps with that.”
Roy’s role as one of two nurse practitioners in a practice with 12 cardiologists has evolved into a pivotal one that allows patients the opportunity to spend more time with a skilled practitioner than they otherwise would. Roy says she worked in concert with the physicians in her practice to build this new model of care over the last three years. Whereas initially she only provided direct patient care to a couple of patients, now she sees up to 12 patients a day. Each of these patients has a doctor, she explains, but Roy is the practitioner responsible for their direct care. She provides post-operative care to people who have suffered heart attacks or who are managing heart rhythm abnormalities. She also develops relationships with them and their families.
Most patients, she says, are happy with the nurse-practitioner model of patient care. While doctor visits are usually about 15 minutes long, patients are penciled in for 30 minutes with Roy. Consequently, Roy gets to know “the whole person” as opposed to just their medical history.
“I love treating the whole person. They really look to you for all types of guidance,” she explains. “I provide health care, disease management, but still do patient education and support (as she did as a nurse).”
Roy, who also volunteers at the Portland Free Community Clinic one day a month, grew up in Presque Isle. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Colby College, and earned her nursing degree at the University of Maine in Fort Kent. She was a cardiac nurse at Maine Medical Center for five years when she decided to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. Because she already knew many of the cardiologists at Cardiovascular Consultants from her nursing days at Maine Med, she says the job has been “a great fit,” both for her and her patients.
“I love the schedule and the autonomy it provides,” says Roy. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
– Joanne Lannin