The best care providers are the ones who go into medicine to make a difference in people’s lives, and truly want to help improve their patients’ health and wellbeing. Often, they are good listeners who take a humble and open approach to caregiving. That’s Sharon Hendricks, CNM, FNP-C. The community agrees, naming her provider of the year in the Lamar Ledger’s People’s Choice awards for 2017.
“I was very surprised and honored. I hope I was selected because people feel as though I respect them, and that I am a good partner in their health,” said Sharon, who joined Prowers Medical Center six years ago.
Sharon holds two advanced degrees, one as a certified nurse midwife and another as a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are master’s level nurses who work independently, similar to physicians.
Up until this year, Sharon had been providing family and women’s health services to patients of Prowers Medical Center in both an outpatient clinic setting and for inpatient obstetric/newborn care. As a midwife, she followed expectant moms through pregnancy and delivery. While she still delivers babies at the hospital on an on-call basis, she now works full time as a hospitalist. Hospitalists are healthcare practitioners who care for patients during their stay in the hospital.
“I direct inpatient care while they are in the hospital and update the patient’s primary care provider on the patient hospital stay upon discharge home. On discharge, if needed, I arrange for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and help patients transition from hospital to home with outpatient home healthcare services, to a nursing home, or from hospital to hospice services either at home or in a nursing home,” she said.
Sharon’s patients say they appreciate her because she listens and cares about their opinions. They also say she goes out of her way to be available to them. It has to do with her philosophy of care.
“I have always believed that being a healthcare provider is a service-oriented profession. I am there to serve my patients. Ultimately, I work for them. I just have a different body of knowledge than they do when it comes to their health, and it’s my goal to partner with them and help them make the best decisions they can,” Sharon said.
Sharon was inspired to go into medicine by her own healthcare experiences when she was a teen. She saw both the positive and not so positive sides of healthcare, and she wanted to make a difference.
“I wanted to be the person that somebody remembered for a positive experience. When starting out, I chose nursing, specifically because bedside nursing gave me the opportunity to develop a relationship with my patients,” she added.
In her free time, Sharon and her husband Jeff like to ride a motorcycle together. They have taken several cross-country trips over the years, once having ridden from El Paso, TX to Canada. She is also an avid reader. A perfect relaxing day would include a good book and a warm beach.
Sharon and Jeff, who works for a local Lamar company delivering fuel and propane, have four children and four grandchildren. She had the honor of delivering her youngest grandson. Her daughter, Dusty, lived with her in Lamar while her husband was deployed. Dusty was late in her pregnancy and wanted to be near family—and of course, have her mom deliver her child at Prowers Medical Center.
Sharon enjoys living in Lamar because it reminds her of the community she grew up in, and says there are a lot of great people here in Lamar, and at Prowers Medical Center. She appreciates how the hospital’s staff is so dedicated to quality, and how the staff always strives to improve care for patients.
“It’s a blessing to work at a community hospital with dedicated staff that really cares about the community,” Sharon concluded.
Congratulations to Sharon on her People’s Choice Award! To learn more about Sharon and Prowers Medical Center, visit the hospital’s website at prowersmedical.com.