An Appreciation for the Independent Practitioner

Valerie Parisi is a nurse, an LNC, a lifecare planner, wife, mom, and mentor.  Like many of us, she performs a daily juggling routine and changes “hats” without a second thought.  And she routinely answers her own phone, personally, greeting callers in a friendly manner in spite of whatever task or area of concentration is being interrupted. 

I spent three days and a total of 18 hours with Valerie (and Rosie, the ever present and enthusiastic black poodle).  It is immediately apparent that business is readily available. The paperwork overflows in her office and more is steadily delivered at her front door.  Despite a heavy schedule and deadlines to meet, Valerie rarely turns away a request.  She began as a diploma prepared nurse with home health experience and a lot of desire.  Her certifications grew over the years and so did the demands.  She now devotes most of her time to lifecare planning.   

Fortunately, she had a case pending which did not require lifecare planning while I was with her and she had not had time to even review the record.  This required simply a chronology and assessment of the information presented in order to advise the lawyer for the plaintiff of potential “pitfalls” and medical issues upon which the defense would likely focus.  Having worked on this case and completed about 90% of the chronology during my 2nd and 3rd sessions with Valerie, I was reluctant to leave it unfinished. She said she was pleased to have “free” labor and I left with about 50 pounds of medical records in hand.  Then it was my turn to practice self-discipline and psychologically chain myself to the computer desk.  Many hours later I actually had produced a ”work product”, complete with analysis of specific issues and some medical research attachments.  This is all now back in Valerie’s home office and I am hopeful she’ll find time to offer a critique of the documentation.   

During working lunches, I had an opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into the business life of an independent LNC.  Valerie’s advice on getting started? “Network like hell!”

Stephanie Gordon RN,C    2.26.06