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Kathryn Heckle - Urgent Care for Children pediatric nurse practitioner

University of Tennessee – Knoxville (RN-BSN), Maryville University in St. Louis, MO (MSN)

Board certification:
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Why did you choose to practice pediatrics?
I choose pediatrics because I love keeping things fun. I love talking to kids about what they are interested in, what they love doing, or what they are excited about. I love how eager they are to learn and grow, and it is fun to engage with patients at each of their developmental stages. I love partnering with caregivers to ensure we are taking the best possible care of the patient. 

What is most rewarding about your work?
I think one of the most important things about pediatrics is that providers get to be an advocate for a very vulnerable population, that cannot always be advocates for themselves. I find it very rewarding to come alongside caregivers to provide quality care and promote safety for families. 

When working with your patients and their families, what is your approach? 
Listen first. The caregiver and patient know their situation and health goals better than I ever will. My job is to come alongside them with my training to help promote health and safety. Education is so important, using both preventative anticipatory guidance and follow up care guidelines. I want to be sure I leave time for questions and opportunities for education. 

How do you stay healthy and happy?
I love exercising and being outside. You can usually find me in a gym class or enjoying our amazing East TN backyard on a road bike or hiking. I love spending time with my friends and family, either out enjoying the city or sharing a meal together. 

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