Health Promotion and Education

Nurse practitioners: emphasizing the health and well-being of the whole person

Special to Inspire Coastal Bend

What is a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. They must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. After completion of multiple didactic and clinical courses, they are competent nurses with specialized clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care and long-term health care settings. NPs provide high-quality care in multiple settings, such as:

• Clinics
• Hospitals
• Emergency rooms
• Urgent care sites
• Private physician or NP practices
• Nursing homes
• Schools
• Colleges
• Public health departments

The role of NPs
In 2016 alone, more than 916 million Americans visited a medical office to consult NPs for a medical complaint. NPs provide a comprehensive perspective to health care for disease prevention and health management. They are able to diagnose and treat health conditions, including, but not limited to:

• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• Hyperlipidemia

The NP profession is distinguished by the emphasis on health and well-being of the whole person. Their focus is geared toward health promotion, disease prevention and health education and counseling. NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices, which, in turn, can lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs.

Primary care NPs help lower health costs for patients as they help reduce the number of emergency room visits, shorten hospital stays and lower medication costs. With more than 870 million visits made to NPs each year, patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive.

About Mayra Garza, FNP-C
“Every day, I feel the need to increase my knowledge and positively impact patients’ lives,” Garza says. “My vision is to expand my general education, acquire the most recent skills in advanced nursing practice, as well as effectively treat all members of a family. I collaborate with other medical professionals in order to treat acute ailments and target the early identification and prevention of diseases.

“Additionally, I enjoy educating everyone on accident prevention and lifestyle changes that improve quality of life. As a family nurse practitioner, I am fully committed to [treating] people in different cultures with sensitivity and respect. My goal is to make a difference in every patient’s life, provide compassionate nursing care and increase health awareness.”

A South Texas native, Garza holds a master’s degree in nursing from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. She practices at CHRISTUS Family Medicine in Portland, Texas. She and Dr. Jorge Ramirez are currently accepting new patients with same- or next-day appointments.

CHRISTUS Family Medicine is located at 311 Buddy Ganem Drive, Ste. A, in Portland, Texas. The practice is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 361-777-0500 or visit *References available upon request.


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