Every month, we feature a provider as an opportunity for the community to learn more about the great people on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital. This month, we had the chance to talk with Aquila Shelby, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (APN) with Little Company of Mary’s Medical Group. Read on to get to know Aquila, including why she became a Nurse Practitioner, her philosophy of care and what she does outside the office.
Aquila Shelby, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, received her degree from Saint Xavier University. She will see patients and be working alongside Dr. Kimberly Johnson at the Halsted Medical Center (736 West 95th Street, Chicago, IL).
Why did you decide to become a Nurse Practitioner?
- Simply put, nursing is in my genes. My mother has been a nurse for 40 years and my great- great- great grandmother was a well-known and respected neighborhood midwife. While growing up, people in our neighborhood would praise them for their noble works in healthcare. Consequently, I decided to dedicate my own life to nursing. I chose to become a Nurse Practitioner after years of educating and working with a wide variety of patients (newborns to older adults and their families) of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, whom suffered from various uncontrolled diseases. My goals are to promote health and prevent diseases and target organ damage in primary care using a patient-provider team based approach. I strive to be just like my “Sheroes,” known by my community and peers for positively changing the lives of everyday people.
What do you enjoy most about being a Nurse Practitioner?
- I feel the healthcare profession requires humble, selfless and compassionate leaders who can multi-task and implement trust, guidance and evidenced-based competent healthcare with every patient encounter. Because of this, I’m proud to say I’m blessed with the opportunity and responsibility to first gain a person’s trust in order to influence how they think and feel about their health. Being able to eventually see a person’s willingness to change their behaviors one-step/one-day at a time, leading to positive and healthy results, is amazing to be a part of.
What is your philosophy of care?
- To provide evidenced-based care, with the awareness that patient care must be individualized and focused on access to care, environmental stressors and the patient’s cultural beliefs to promote wellness. During each patient encounter, I make sure to listen to both verbal and nonverbal cues. I always ask, “Do you or your family members have any questions?” “Do you understand?” And more importantly, I always take the time to provide easy to read educational handouts and information about access to resources in their communities to promote wellness and health.
What do you look forward to the most in working with the patients at LCMH?
- I am determined to work with my patients, their families, their communities, and a multidisciplinary team of providers to promote health, wellness, nutrition, and disease preventative strategies with God guiding my path.
What is the number one advice / tip you give your patients for healthy living?
- I want patients to first take control of their own physical, social and mental health. I want patients to recognize that their bodies are vessels that need to be nourished, loved and honored for real quality holistic healthcare. These goals can be accomplished with small steps, such as daily fresh fruits, vegetables, water, and lean meats and participating in exercises such as walking, running and swimming to maintaining a healthy weight.
As a new provider at Little Company, what have you noticed is the best thing Little Company of Mary has to offer patients?
- The best thing LCMH has to offer is the family-centered model. I look forward to contributing to the Mission of the hospital to provide high-quality, evidenced-based, family-centered care, while utilizing “the latest technology to heal” working alongside a multidisciplinary team of experts.
If you hadn’t become a Nurse Practitioner, what would you be doing?
- I would be living with my son in California, enjoying the sun and maybe selling medical supplies or working for a pharmaceutical company.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?
- I enjoy spending real quality time with my son and attending his sporting events. Even if I’m late, I love seeing his face light up when he finally spots me in a crowded room. He knows I’m his #1 fan! I also enjoy a high intensity stress-relieving aerobics class three days a week and a very good laugh with family and friends when we’re teasing each other.