Back Row: Camilla Pigott, Eney Hernandez, Sarah Warner, Divya Krishna Prasad, Stacy Rodriguez, Susanna Ortega, Lilly Pizarra, Brittany Gonzalez
Front Row: Tiffany Walther, Jacob Gomez, Vanessa Cruzado
Urology Austin Nurses and Medical Assistants: We Care for Patients
At Urology Austin, the nurses and medical assistants (MAs) are on the front line of providing professional and compassionate patient care. There are about 50 nurses and MAs working across all locations who are a vital part of the UA team.
Assistant site manager Jacob Gomez has been working at UA for more than four years. He says the nursing staff possesses much more than clinical skills. While those talents are vital, they need to also possess the right temperament to ease patients’ minds. Often, patients are hesitant to openly talk about urological conditions or symptoms. But the nursing staff can put the patient at ease by asking the right questions and truly listening.
“Nurses and MAs, they have a special skill to talk to our patients about things they might otherwise not want to talk about,” Gomez said. “That comforting spirit is what we really look for.”
Playing a pivotal role in patient care
Part of what Urology Austin nurses and MAs pride themselves on is the ability to consider their patients as people first – not a symptom to treat. These professionals handle a very diverse caseload and stay focused on each individual patient. On a given day, they could see anything from a urinary tract infection to a patient with bladder or prostate cancer.
“With each patient, it’s not just about making an immediate single decision of what needs to be done today, but we have to consider the whole patient,” Gomez said. “We ask questions. Look at their lifestyle. We learn about them, truly care for them, and know we can influence their quality of life.”
The nursing team plays an active and direct role in patient care by helping treat patients. At UA, nurses and MAs regularly use their technical skills to insert catheters, inject cancer medications, and assist in cystoscopy as well as vasectomies.
Taking a team approach – the UA way!
With an organization as large as UA, nurses and MAs have opportunities to be part of an expansive team with plenty of opportunities. They are in a unique position to assist in surgeries such as UroLift®, a minimally invasive procedure using a delivery device and permanent implants to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
“It’s great that we have the staff and technology to do this in-house and not in a surgery center,” Gomez says. “It’s such a difference-maker in the lives of so many of our patients, and our team supports them every step of the way.”
Another important role the nursing team plays is partnering with the research department. As specific protocols are designed to support research, that information is shared with nurses and MAs whose daily responsibilities can play a key role in research efforts.
An example of this partnership is an ongoing study for low-grade prostate cancer patients. These selected patients are undergoing biopsies, but in addition, nurses and MAs are drawing blood from the same patients to see if that bloodwork can reveal if cancer cells are present. The bloodwork and biopsy results can be compared with one another with the hope that one day, a simple blood test might reveal cancer cells and reduce the need for more invasive biopsies.
“Our amazing team does so much,” Gomez said. “Our nurses and MAs support Urology Austin in so many ways, and ultimately, they are helping our patients live their best lives.”