Larry has been a member of NAPNAP since 1995 and helped establish the IEP SIG in 2005. His work in injury education and prevention includes being one of the first Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructors in the country. He has also worked abroad extensively, and recently returned from a mission trip to the Philippines where he continued a project he began in 1994 to start the emergency medical technician program for the country.
My vocation has been emergency medical services. Going on 40 years as an EMT, I still volunteer with a Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad and serve on the board of trustees and as the infection control officer. In my work as an EMT, I had the incredible good fortune to start an international pro-gram of EMS education with Operation Smile International. It has taken emergency medical training to 17 nations. While Operation Smile is no longer involved, the program persists and I just returned from a training for the EMTs who would man 100 newly deployed ambulances. Twenty years later, this program is still going strong.
I've been teaching for 39 years and have been on nursing faculty for 14 years. Today I'm chair of the campus nursing programs for South University, which has 11 campuses in 10 states. We have students in RN, BSN, MSN, DNP, AHNP, FNP and other programs. I am located in Virginia Beach and coordinate activities through distance technology. I teach one to two classes a quarter, from pediatrics and pediatrics clinicals to pharmacology to research to financial management for nurses.
This all got started when an undergrad instructor reached out and encouraged me to apply to the PNP program. I was an ED RN back then, with no intention of entering pediatrics! But it didn't take long to fall in love with pediatrics. The biggest difference in transitioning from an RN to a PNP was in the mindset change from confirming orders to making medical decisions. This was a big shift! I enjoyed the program and had a wonderful mentor.
In my community, I see children and adolescents with mental health issues at a center with 140 health care providers. My practice is eight hours a week in the evenings and on weekends. I see children with ADHD, depression, learning disabilities and other issues. I focus on medication management and work closely with psychologists and psychotherapists. Parents face huge barriers, and children deal with the social stigma of mental illness. Family medical leave is insufficient, so I'm doing my part to provide access to care and offering hours outside of normal business hours. Parents do not have to miss work or worry about children missing school.
One thing I wish we would do as a profession is to take a stand on certain issues based on current research. The leading cause of death for adolescents and school-aged children is automobile collisions. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAP agree that 12 years of age is the mini-mum for a child to sit in the front seat, we're seeing evidence that the minimum age should be 15. Providers use state laws, which are designed to give police officers very easy guidelines to follow, instead of the currently recognized best practices. We need to do more to tackle this issue and not wait for other professions to take the lead.
Some ask what do I do with my spare time, but raising six teenagers leaves very little to spare. I do read a lot on a variety of topics and play massively multiplayer online video games. I am thankful to be part of this profession. We're indispensable to the health care system, and there is no other group that focuses on the issues of childhood as we do. The past twenty years as a PNP have been an incredible adventure and I would do it again. I am proud to be a part of a group of dedicated professionals that make such a difference in the world.
Learn more about our Injury Education & Prevention SIG.