HER Fam­ily

Nurse prac­ti­tioner uses pa­tience, mo­ti­va­tion to bal­ance work, home

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents - By Lind­sey Wells

As a wo­man, find­ing an equal bal­ance be­tween hav­ing a full- time ca­reer or go­ing to school, be­ing a wife, and rais­ing a fam­ily can be tricky. How do you main­tain good grades or your full-time job while also giv­ing your spouse and chil­dren the qual­ity time that they de­serve?

This bal­anc­ing act re­quires a great deal of pa­tience, en­ergy and mo­ti­va­tion. You can’t be in more than one place at once and, with kids, your day-to-day life is quite un­pre­dictable.

Brit­tany Lacy, 31, is a fam­ily nurse prac­ti­tioner at West Gate Fam­ily Medicine in Hot Springs and suc­cess­fully per­forms this bal­anc­ing act ev­ery day. She may make it look easy, but her achieve­ments didn’t come with­out its chal­lenges.

Brit­tany said she al­ways knew she wanted to get into the med­i­cal field be­cause she loves to help peo­ple.

“I also like get­ting to fol­low pa­tients over a pe­riod of time. A lot of my pa­tients have been my pa­tients for years. Also, kind of the prob­lem-solv­ing part of it. Some­body comes to you with an is­sue or a com­plaint and just try­ing to work with them to fig­ure out what the prob­lem is and then what’s go­ing to be the best course of ac­tion to rem­edy it,” she added.

When she and her hus­band, Josh, got mar­ried she was work­ing as an RN at Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Lit­tle Rock be­fore ac­cept­ing a job in the emer­gency de­part­ment at CHI St. Vin­cent (for­merly St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospi­tal) in Hot Springs.

When Brit­tany and Josh be­gan think­ing about hav­ing chil­dren, Brit­tany de­cided to go back to school for an­other three and a half years to get her mas­ter’s de­gree and nurse prac­ti­tioner’s li­cense so that she could have a more “reg­u­lar” work sched­ule in or­der to hope­fully raise a fam­ily.

“She has per­se­vered through all the stress and end­less hours study­ing and is now en­joy­ing the bene- fits,” Josh said. “She even in­spired me to fin­ish my de­gree as she fin­ished hers. She would spend eight to 10 hours ev­ery day study­ing in the back bed­room when she was not in clin­i­cal ro­ta­tion or at her night­time job in the ER.”

“He had started his as­so­ciate de­gree be­fore we even got mar­ried and he was lack­ing just two semesters, maybe three semesters, so when­ever I de­cided to go back to school I was like, ‘I’m go­ing to be study­ing any­way, you might as well too,’ so he would study in the liv­ing room and I would study in the of­fice,” Brit­tany said.

The cou­ple pushed each other and cheered each other on as they worked to fin­ish their mas­ter’s de­grees.

Dur­ing her last year in school, Brit­tany found out she was preg­nant with their first child, Sawyer, who is now 3 and a half years old.

“It ac­tu­ally worked out well be­cause I had passed my boards and I was kind of in be­tween jobs right when I had him, so I could stay home and do kind of a ma­ter­nity leave un­til I started my job as a nurse prac­ti­tioner,” she said.

Eight months ago, Brit­tany gave birth to two twin boys, Hunter and Bar­rett.

“Now, with the kids, it was chal­leng­ing be­cause I was work­ing, I had a full-time prac­tice, and I had fre­quent OB ap­point­ments be­cause you have to do the ul­tra­sounds and mea­sure­ments and all that kind of stuff,” she said.

As a mom of three boys, Brit­tany said she thinks a lot of moms, whether they stay at home with their chil­dren or have a ca­reer, al­ways won­der whether they’re re­ally do­ing the right thing for their fam­i­lies.

“But I do feel like I’m right where God has called me to be,” she added. “I love my job, I love be­ing a mom, and for­tu­nately the group that I work with, the physi­cians — I’ve never felt like I had to pick be­tween be­ing a mom ver­sus my ca­reer. I’ve al­ways been able to pri­or­i­tize that so I’m re­ally for­tu­nate in that as­pect.”

She added that while she loves her kids dearly, she doesn’t think she would ever be able to be a stay-ath­ome-mom.

“I al­most think that you have to be a su­per­hero mom to be a stayat-home-mom be­cause I think it’s so much harder. I miss my kids at work but I also get a break from it,” she said. “Moms who are in the trenches from the time their kids wake up to the time they go to bed, I ad­mire moms that can do it. Be­cause it re­ally does take a lot of strength and pa­tience that I don’t know that I would have.”

When asked what ad­vice she has for other young women who are on the fence about pur­su­ing their dream job, Brit­tany said, “I would say that you have to sur­round your­self with peo­ple who are go­ing to sup­port you. Ev­ery de­ci­sion that I’ve made as far as ed­u­ca­tion, ca­reer, my hus­band has al­ways been — he’s never made me feel guilty or pres­sured me to make any other dif­fer­ent choices. If I was pas­sion­ate about some­thing, he sup­ported me. And I have friends and a church that just have my back 110 per­cent.

“My ad­vice would be to just sur­round your­self with peo­ple like that, peo­ple that are go­ing to push you. Be­cause there were a lot of times in school that I just wanted to quit and my hus­band would just say, ‘No, you’re go­ing to do this, you can do it, you’ll be great at it, just keep go­ing.’”

Now, their mar­riage and fam­ily is fu­eled sim­ply by pa­tience, love and hav­ing each other to lean on.

When they aren’t work­ing, Brit­tany and Josh and the kids en­joy just be­ing out­doors and spend­ing time to­gether as a fam­ily. They’re look­ing for­ward to a fam­ily va­ca­tion to Florida in a cou­ple of months, some­thing that Brit­tany said might not be pos­si­ble had she and Josh not pushed each other to re­turn to school and bet­ter them­selves for their fam­ily.

Brit­tany Lacy and her chil­dren, twins Hunter and Bar­rett and three-year-old Sawyer.

Fam­ily Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Brit­tany Lacy.

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