Hancock County Health System
Lacy Halsrud, ARNP
Wesley Medical Clinic 103 Main Street E., Wesley, IA
I didn’t actually get a chance this month to interview Lacy Halsrud from HCHS but she was amazing enough to answer my questions over email. Thank-You so much Lacy!
What made you decide to pursue this profession?
When I graduated high school, I wanted to be a doctor. I went to Iowa as a pre-med major. When I realized I was pregnant with Tyson, I had to change my plans a little, so I entered nursing school. It allowed me to be in the medical profession without having to spend 10+ years in school to be able to help others. In 2009, I decided to go back to school to get my Masters in Nursing so I could be an ARNP. I found I really loved the nursing profession, and, by being an ARNP, I could keep the pieces of nursing that I have grown to love and also expand my knowledge to be able to diagnose and treat patients, as well, which was closer to my original goal of being a doctor. I feel as though it has worked out really well, because there are definitely pieces of my nursing training and experience that make me a better healthcare provider for my patients. If I had gone my original route, straight to med school, I'm not sure I would have gotten that aspect of my training.
How long have you been in this carrier?
I was an LPN for one year while I attended school for my RN. Then, I worked 14.5 years as an RN before getting my ARNP. I have been in my current profession for just over 3 years now.
Why own your own business rather than work for someone else?
I DO work for others; I'm part of a great healthcare system at HCHS and I work every day to ensure my patients have what they need to be healthy individuals.
What did you do before this?
In high school, I worked construction, then as an LPN/RN for 15+ years doing hospital nursing which included emergency care as well as labor and delivery.
What is your favorite thing about working here?
My favorite things are definitely my patients, the staff I work with, and the proximity to home and my family.
Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?
KRHC would be our top competitor due to proximity of our two clinics.
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
Each day, we will see multiple patients for wellness visits, illness, lab draws, and injuries. My can see up to 25 patients per day in these capacities. We also have patients at the local care centers and assisted living communities that we manage in conjunction with the staff at those facilities during any given day as well. Once a month, I get the opportunity to round at the local care center and provide care to the residents there as well.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
As a health care system, HCHS uses different promotional venues for each of its services. Typically, however, we have print newspaper ads, radio ads, and also use technology, including our website, social media platforms, etc. to advertise.
Are you a main working employee or do you more or less supervise?
I am the only practitioner in Wesley, however, when I'm in Britt, there may be up to three other providers available for healthcare needs on any given day. When we're in Wesley, though, it is generally myself, my nurse, and our receptionist who is a medical assistant. We work together as a team to meet our patient's healthcare goals.
Do you have employees? How many?
There are usually just three of us in Wesley at any given time.
How long have they been with you?
Lisa has been my nurse since I started here, and she was with Dr McGregor before I came. She's a familiar face to our patients and a great asset to the clinic. Denise is our MA/receptionist, and she's been in Wesley about a year now. She's kind of a jack of all trades.
What is your management style?
Laid back, I would say, though I don't know that I "manage" anyone. I like to work with my staff and patients to come to a good plan of care that works for everyone. I always tell my patients that I can order whatever test or medicine I want for them, but if it's something they can't afford or are not comfortable with and therefore aren't going to be compliant with that treatment, neither of us wins. I try to involve them as much as possible in options so we have a plan that works for everyone. We all have to be a team.
What made you choose Wesley Iowa as your current location?
It's my hometown. Wesley is a great little town with supportive people. Everyone's involved and looking to make the community a better place. I love that about Wesley.
Does your company help the community where it is located?
HCHS Clinics provide a valuable resource to the community by offering primary care right in their "own backyard." People do not have to travel far, take as much time off of work, to receive quality care close to their home. We participate when there's a need, like scarecrows in the fall or ragbraii participation.
Can you describe your customers?
My customers range from 4 days old to some that are over 100 years. Health challenges range from diabetes, to high blood pressure, to different cancers. I specialized and am certified in family medicine, so I can see a wide range of patient needs throughout the course of a week. I definitely utilize resources, both within my facility or through my colleagues, as well as specialists elsewhere, such as orthopedics, nephrology, or cardiology. I really enjoy children's visits as well as women's health.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
I think many like the convenience of not having to go far to see their healthcare provider, especially in the winter months when travel gets nasty. I would like to think my sparkling personality helps, too, along with the ease of getting in for an appointment when you need one. Availability is crucial to maintaining a good practice.
Have you ever turned down a client?
Yes. Sometimes, a patient's healthcare needs exceed what I am comfortable seeing as a practitioner. Usually, I can help facilitate a specialist in these instances.
What are the biggest issues for running this business?
I don't really run this business, HCHS does the billing, claims, general maintenance and upkeep, ect. I just work here.
If something happens to you, what will happen to your business?
I would think that they would recruit another provider to take my place. Wesley has been an important part of the HCHS healthcare system for many years, and our patients are loyal.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Ask questions. Take your time. Work with your patients to make sure their needs are met, questions answered, and their care is as affordable as possible. Communicate well and often.
Anything you would like to tell your customers?
I've been very lucky to have the opportunity to be the healthcare provider in Wesley. It's something I take a great deal of pride in, and I'm thankful for the support of the community for myself and our practice.