December 10, 2023

The Critical Role of the Nurse Practitioner in a Busy Cardiology Practice

Salud: December 2023

Providing quality access to medical care is paramount in today’s healthcare landscape. The Cigarroa Clinic recognizes this and has employed devoted board-certified Advanced Nurse Practitioners (APRNs) who play an essential role in providing excellent care to the community, particularly in the fields of cardiology and internal medicine.

Felipe Vaquera, Gabriel Castilleja, and Stephanie Sanchez—all APRNs with FNP-C credentials—are three members of the nurse practitioner team who are each committed to managing the clinic and providing care to the more than 400 cardiology and internal medicine patients seen each week. Their dedication ensures that patients receive timely, comprehensive, and specialized care.

The APRN team at the Cigarroa Clinic doesn’t stop there. Rey Diaz, AGACNP-BC, and Jamy Josey, FNP-C, play a vital role in caring for internal medicine and cardiology cases in the hospital. They work closely with Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa and Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa II to develop individualized care plans for each patient’s specific needs in the hospital setting.

“Our nurse practitioners play a vital role in caring for our patients,” Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa said. “With their help, we continue being able to care for not only our scheduled patients but also patients who walk into the clinic without an appointment, as well as those who present themselves in the ER.”

“When we talk about providing better access to healthcare, a big part of that is being able to see patients when they are feeling their worst—not in scheduled appointments two weeks away. But I certainly wouldn’t be able to do this without the help from our Nurse Practitioners,” Dr. Cigarroa continued.  

Along with the ability to see patients immediately, nurse practitioners also provide an element of care that’s important for patients at the clinic, and that’s a strong dose of education when it comes to preventive care. Drawing upon their nursing foundation, nurse practitioners focus on empowering patients with the knowledge needed to maintain cardiovascular and overall health and prevent heart-related issues.

“While we are trained to intervene when a person is experiencing a heart attack, the most important thing we can do for our patients is to educate them on how to prevent and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa II. “This is a key area that is important in our clinic, and that our nurse practitioners do very well.”

The nurse practitioners at the clinic are highly appreciated by the medical staff, clinic employees, and the community. Over the years, they have earned the respect and affection of the patients, who have developed strong bonds with these dedicated professionals. Patients often refer to them as their preferred provider, indicating the deep trust and rapport they have established with the nurse practitioners. As Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa aptly states, “There’s a nurse practitioner for every personality.”

While many medical facilities along the Texas border are facing challenges in maintaining quality care while managing patient volume, the Cigarroa Clinic recognizes the importance of these essential providers and values their contributions to the team.

Dr. Cigarroa expresses his gratitude towards the members of their team, saying a busy practice like theirs is fortunate to have such key individuals. Their commitment to immediate patient care, collaboration, and patient education truly sets them apart as essential pillars of the healthcare team.

The Cigarroa Clinic offers same-day appointments Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call (956) 725-1228.