The Switzerland County Nurse Managed Clinic has a new nurse practitioner, and as she spends this week acclimating herself to the clinic in preparation for seeing patients beginning this Monday, she’s very excited about her new opportunity.
Katia Stefanova is originally from Bulgaria, and has lived quite an adventure that has led her to the Vevay clinic.
She was hired about three weeks ago, and previously she worked in Louisville with a practice that primarily focused on nursing home patients.
“I graduated last year from a family nurse practitioner program, so I really wanted to get into a clinic-type setting where I would be able to see all ages,” Katia Stefanova said. “I am very excited to have this opportunity here.”
“I’ve been living in this country for 13 years now,” she said. “I’ve been living in the Madison-Hanover area for the last six years. My husband teaches at Hanover College. We moved there from Boston.”
She attended college studying social work in Bulgaria, and then came to Boston on an exchange program. After completing that, she decided to stay in this country to learn more English, and it was then that she decided to change her career path and began to study nursing.
“My mother is a nurse, and when I would tell her that I wanted to be a nurse, even though she loved the profession she would keep me away from the profession,” Katia Stefanova smiled. “So when I called her from Boston to tell her, she said, ‘So you had to go an ocean away before it was enough distance to tell me’. She has always been supportive of everything I’ve been doing.”
It was in Boston that she met her husband, Leonidas Pantelidis, a native of Greece who was studying physics at MIT. His teaching career then brought them to Southeastern Indiana, but it didn’t stop Katia’s desire to continue her education. The couple has a two year old daughter, Arianna.
“I studied at Bunker Hill College in Boston, and then I completed my graduate school at Spaulding University in Louisville. I graduated last May,” Katia Stefanova said. “I’ve been a nurse for seven years, and a nurse practitioner for a year.”
What drew Katia to the Switzerland County position was her desire to see and be able to care for all age groups; and also cutting down on the two-hour drive from Hanover to Louisville was an added bonus.
But at the core is her desire to connect with people and help them.
“I know this clinic serves the under served, basically, and that’s what I really like about it,” she said. “I know they’ve done a lot of work here at the clinic getting ready for me and they’ve been really nice about showing me around. Everyone has been very helpful in getting me ready to see patients beginning on Monday.”
This week she’s been going through computer training and other aspects of the position, as well as working with Dr. Scott Frede, the county health officer, who will confer with her.
But through the computers and the acclimation to a new setting, it is the care of the patient that most excites the new nurse practitioner.
“I think I always wanted to be a nurse, and at some point I knew I wanted to expand my knowledge,” Katia Stefanova said. “I have always wanted to have a broader view on the health of my patients. When I worked as a nurse, it was wonderful to see how people improved in a hospital setting, but there was something missing. I couldn’t change much about what the future of the person would be, because once they left the hospital many of them I wouldn’t see again. Being here allows me to have a more complete view with the people I am helping.”