Being a nurse isn’t just an ordinary job for Amber Peters. It’s her passion. While she was already well into her career, an experience with a loved one diagnosed with a mental illness led her to pursue a change. She set off on a journey to learn how to give the upmost care for those with a mental health illness.
“While I worked with that family member to get them the help they needed, I learned how difficult it was to receive appropriate psychiatric care,” Peter says.
As a psychiatric advanced practice nurse at Bay Medical Consulting LLC, she works closely with other team members to make sure a plan is in place for treatment of her patients. Coordinating referrals to psychologists, medical and specialty providers and social workers also are party of her daily duties.
“I feel I play a vital role in the overall picture of health care in the Ozarks,” says Peters.
Recently, her skills assessing, diagnosing and treating patients was needed more than ever. Peters says the demand for mental health resources in the community greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many patients with mental illness experienced heightened levels of anxiety and/or depression and became increasingly unstable as the news of COVID worsened,” says Peters.
In order to respond to the global crisis and her growing list of patients, she made communication a top priority.
“Simply being present and listening to the concerns of the patients provided some relief,” says Peters.
Whether patients’ sessions were done in person or via telemedicine, she made sure the goal of treatment for patients was fulfilled.
“I also have a background as a family nurse practitioner,” says Peters. “I offered to treat comorbid medical disorders if patients were not able to see their primary care provider.”
Outside of treating patients, she teaches students at Cox College. Peters is currently the lead faculty member for the psychiatric mental health nurse program.
“By providing students with education and clinical experiences, I hope to improve access for those seeking treatment for mental health services,” says Peters.
Dr. Amanda Cole, who works with Peters at Cox College, says she deserves recognition for her caring attitude.
“Amber is determined to assist our community members to feel and do better,” says Cole.
Continuous education also is a top priority for Peters. Through psychiatry newsletters, activities online and, before the COVID-19 pandemic, attending conferences, she is determined to be up to date on the latest information in the health care industry.
“I have an intense desire to help those in need, and I strive to gain as much experience and education necessary to do this well,” says Peters.
She also enjoys listening to audio books and podcasts by researchers and psychologists. She feels as this information allows her to connect with her patients more thoroughly.
“I’m not striving to be ‘the best,’” Peters says. “However, when a patient comes to me for their treatment, I want them to know they are receiving compassionate and competent care.”
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