IANANT Nurse Spotlight - Smitha Mathew
APRN, MSN, M.A, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner
Baylor Scott & white Irving Community Care Clinic
Smitha Mathew is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) whose childhood dream has always been to become a nurse. As a child, she loved taking care of the sick, check the temperature, blood pressure, and doing small dressing changes and everyone around her said “you are called to be a nurse”. A motor vehicle accident led Smitha’s dad to be wheelchair-bound, which further confirmed her desire to pursue a career in the medical world. Her dad always said “Education is something that no one can take away from you. It’s something that you have for the rest of your life.” This inspired her to never stop learning. As a clinical nurse, Smitha realized that she had the talent to diagnose disease conditions, rule out differentials, and come with treatment plans, which enabled her to pursue her career as FNP. When interviewed, Smitha shared her professional story with IANANT as follows:
What’s your typical day of work look like? What is the favorite part of your job? What are some of your challenges?
I have been working at Baylor Community care clinic since Nov 2016, our clinic is an indigent care clinic and I enjoy working with my patients. I work 8 am -5 pm, 5 days a week, serving as a Primary Care Practitioner and run the Woman’s health program in the clinic. I feel that I can make a difference in my patient’s life who all are in real need and it is very rewarding. Challenges at work are connecting patients with the specialist and treating patients who needed care by the specialist. On the other hand, it had provided me a great learning opportunity and confidence to take care of the patients in my care.
What do you do for professional development? What do you expect from IANANT?
To be the most effective provider and greatest resource for your patients it is important to keep your knowledge fresh and up to date which will help you to practice with confidence. I use resources like Up to date, Epocrates, FP notebook on daily basis and try to attend at least 1- 2 CME conferences per year. I am member of TNP, AANP, NAINA, and IANANT. I joined with IANANT to stay connected with the professional association with the same cultural background.
Any advice for future nurses?
Nursing is an honorable profession. First, you need a calling and a passion for this profession then only you would be able to practice with empathy and compassion. Never stop learning! Technology and the profession continue to grow which provides endless opportunities in different areas of nursing.
What do you aspire to achieve in the next five years?
I am looking forward to working as an NP in a specialty area where I can learn more in-depth in that area. I am thinking of doing DNP in the future. I aspire to learn medical Spanish.
How has nursing changed your life?
I have been a nurse since 2000. Over the years I have had the privilege to work in a different area of nursing as a nursing tutor, clinical instructor, bedside nursing, and family nurse practitioner. Truly, in challenging times, there have been times when I regretted being a nurse when I had challenges handling difficult patient situations or struggled with life-work balance. However, those moments were momentary, and I bounced back quickly when I could see how my actions could change someone’s life. The nursing profession has played a vital role in positively molding my personality. I am so grateful to God for leading me to this profession!
Dr. Jaisy Sonny
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Chair