Karen Vordale was drawn to her career as a Family Nurse Practitioner because of a desire to advocate for her patients. In March, she accepted a new position at the Comprehensive Care Center (CCC) and has quickly integrated herself into the family-like atmosphere of care.
A certified nurse practitioner works with a holistic model of medicine, able to open their own practice while working in consult with a physician.
“I love the medical complexity of older adults,” Vordale says. “I love their personalities and stories.”
The new position at the CCC arose as a way for the facility to advocate even more for its patients as they are living longer, acute and chronic diseases are medically managed more successfully and the quality of life of the geriatric population continues to improve.
“I love the medical complexity of older adults”
“Karen’s presence in the facility fosters rapid assessment and intervention to ensure the health needs of our residents are attended to quickly,” says CCC Administrator Katie Ellis. “Karen’s astute expertise in geriatrics allows her to identify and manage changes in health care status here at the CCC. This reduces transfers to the Emergency Department or physicians offices, which can be very disruptive to our residents and their families. She is present for residents and family; she provides the professional proficiency to address and ease fears, questions, and concerns.”
Vordale majored in biopsychology at UCSB, fascinated by the processes of the brain and mind and how each element effects a person’s physical well-being.
“That’s why being a nurse practitioner is fantastic,” she says. “That’s what it’s all about, the whole body.”
In her new position, Vordale assists Dr. Gil Andersen and Dr. Rollin Bailey with the admission and care of CCC residents. She comes across medical issues involving not only age but also diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, dementia and more. For those patients who are at the CCC for a short term, she might be working medically with fractures, or infections.
“The doctors can’t be here all the time, and I’m here consistently Monday through Friday,” she explains. “It’s nice to have someone here who has been consistent.”
Vordale, who earned a Master of Science degree
in Nursing from California State University at Los Angeles, has also been working closely with Director of Nursing Riitta Speer and the nursing staff.
“There are different nuances in every skilled nursing facility,” she says. “Everyone has been so helpful. Katie (Ellis) has created such a wonderful culture here. Everyone here is really positive.”