Interview: Jennifer Garvin
|Julie:||Jennifer, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are and what your role is in your clinic or hospital?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yes, my name is Jennifer, and I am an RN, and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. I am a RN Clinical Coordinator and Health Coach here in Enid, Oklahoma.
I have five different clinics that I work with to educate people with any chronic disease, including smoking cessation, and weight loss. We’re also doing a cultural living class that’s open to the public as well.
|Julie:||Okay. How long have you been in this role?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||It was a year in May.|
|Julie:||Oh, okay, great. Well so far, how is your health coach training changed or altered your approach in working with patients?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Foremost, I think it has really made me stop and listen. Listen to the patient and really practice on being present with my clients. Using this skill of listening, I’ve heard a lot more. I’ve heard them tell me what they really want to do, and how they want to do it.|
|Julie:||Sure, so that’s been really important.|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yes, absolutely.|
|Julie:||Do you coach those patients on a regular basis? How does it work for you? Are you doing telephonic coaching or in-person?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||I do both. I have a little over 200 clients on my panel that I see and try to call. I’m trying to call them at least once a month and follow up. I do a lot of in-person. I really prefer in-person because I just feel like sometimes a lot is lost on the phone, as far as communication. We do video, like a conference call, where they can see me and I can see them. That’s really fun.
We also do Full Plate classes, where we have some group classes, and some individual classes for weight loss, or diabetes, or any chronic disease.
|Julie:||Okay, that sounds great. Is it just you in this position, or how many coaching staff do you have?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||There’s two of us here in Enid.|
|Julie:||So far, you shared that listening has been very valuable. Can you think of anything else that you’ve used with your patients that’s been helpful in getting them to their goals?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yes. There are several things, actually. But I think going the stages, like evoking and planning have been very helpful. Using those steps to really summarize with the patient. And maybe not necessarily inflicting my thoughts but just really letting them come up with their own ideas. It may not be something that I necessarily would pick for them, but as long as it’s something that is safe for them, I feel like it’s really been helpful to get our goals set.
We use the smart goals. It’s embedded in our program and in our documentation, to use those smart goals. Being a nurse, I was already aware of that, but just sitting down and really explaining to them what the smart goal is, has really has made a big impact.
|Julie:||Okay, great. Do you feel like they’ve taught you anything in your whole coaching experience? Have you learned from your patients also?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Absolutely. I love people, I’m a people person in general already, but I’ve learned how strong the human spirit is, and the will to get better. And individuality, because what one person can do, or is capable of doing, you have to meet that patient where they’re at. Another person…that maybe too hard for them. It’s really being empathetic with people, and meeting them where they’re at. Really letting them figure out what they can do, and how they can do it is really gratifying.|
|Julie:||Do you have any success story with a patient that you’d like to share?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yes, I do. The first one, the most recent, is a mother and a daughter, and she was a smoker. The daughter had been smoking and just had some real life events that were traumatic for her. Going through a divorce and things like that. She had just put herself on the back-burner and was really lacking in self-confidence. She had developed diabetes in the meantime.
So, her and her mom have banded together. We did some diabetic education with both of them. Now they’re doing my Full Plate class, which is an eight-session weight management class that meets every week. And both of them, have lost weight. The mom’s lost three pounds and the daughter’s lost two. But she’s also, in the meantime, quit smoking. And she’s just being mindful of changes, and what she wants for herself. It’s really awesome to see that.
|Julie:||Yeah, and I bet they have each other too for support, which is nice.|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Oh yeah, and their relationship has gotten better. And they have each other to share recipes with. They walk. But also, she said to me when we met last week, she said, “You know, one thing that I’ve really become aware of is, we can’t hide ourselves. Like the world sees us.” And she said, “I feel like I’ve been hiding from myself for so long.” Just her thanking me, and telling me how much she appreciated that, I mean, we were all in tears. It was wonderful, wonderful experience.
And I’ve had a lot of those in this last year, that I’ve been able to work. And sometimes, I think, am I really making a difference? And then I have those moments like that, that are just so wonderful.
Another patient is a flight instructor. Enid is a training base for the airport. So I have a training instructor, flight instructor, and he was unable to fly. They had grounded him because his A1C was so high. He was very discouraged. He thought that he might lose his job. And it’s been about six months since we started, but he is now able to fly again. And he has lost weight, and he’s helping his wife. He’s also changed the whole area where he works. He’s introduced healthy food … They have fruits and vegetables now, instead of junk food.
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yeah, I know. So, he’s helping other people.|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yeah. It’s a domino effect. It’s a great job. These are great skills that I’ve learned, for sure.|
|Julie:||How are you measuring your patient outcomes? You’ve had some great results. Is there measurable ways you’re tracking those results?|
|Jennifer Garvin:||Yes. There’re reports run every month, and in different categories, the metrics are measured and kept up with. It’s working.|
|Julie:||Jennifer, keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your story!|