When you reach out to the Nurx medical team for advice or to chat about your health, Cristin Hackel just might be the person to answer. One of the Certified Nurse Practitioners on our medical team, Cristin has been an NP for more than 20 years. She lives in Bethesda, MD, but since her spouse is in the Marine Corps she’s moved around a lot and never knows where they’ll be next. We asked her a few questions about her job and what she wishes everybody knew about their sexual health.
What inspired you to become a Nurse Practitioner?
I became involved in health education in college, and in particular, sexual health. I discovered that becoming a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner would allow me to work closely with people to educate them about their bodies and options throughout their life. I found I had a passion for trying to help people feel more comfortable in typically uncomfortable situations (like gyno exams ) and feel confident that they are NORMAL!
Can you explain to us what a Nurse Practitioner is responsible for, compared to other medical positions?
Nurses by background are educators as well as health and patient advocates. Nurse Practitioners take that background and add an advanced degree and are able to fill the provider role for a patient by providing routine care through patient exams, ordering labs and prescriptions, and referring them for more extensive care if needed.
What does your day look like as a Nurse Practitioner for Nurx?
I typically sign on before 8am and spend my morning reviewing labs, getting back to patients who have messaged, and prescribing emergency contraception. Then I get to review patients’ health surveys and prescribe birth control and PrEP for most of my day and sometimes evenings. And, I do this from the comfort of home, so most days, I’m smiling and relaxed with my dog by my side.
What do you find rewarding about being a provider on Nurx’s medical team?
So much! I love the ease of direct communication between provider and patient. I love answering questions and helping someone understand their options. I love that patients don’t need an appointment to get what they need! I get to help patients who have not had great experiences or were denied birth control because they couldn’t make it into see a provider before their prescription expired. I get to help someone get started or continue on PrEP to decrease their risk of acquiring HIV.
Sometimes, it’s a simple joy of helping a patient plan how she takes her pills to not have a period on her wedding day. Sometimes, it’s seeing the “aha” moment when someone understands how birth control works.
I don’t think I can express it better than a patient who recently wrote: “The option for women to go on a trusted app, fill out a questionnaire, and easily receive birth control without having to take the time to see a doctor and pay for that visit is the definition of reproductive freedom! As a High School Health Teacher, I would recommend this to students during our Sex Ed unit!” This makes me grin from ear to ear! This is why Nurx exists and a large reason we do what we do.
What has surprised you the most about being on the Nurx medical team?
I was surprised with how well and how much our medical team works together. We provide information to help each other in areas where someone has more expertise which in the end improves the service and care for the patients. They are not getting just one provider, they are getting a team at Nurx.
What would you say to someone who is considering choosing a company like Nurx for their healthcare needs?
We are licensed nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, and nurses who have years (some of us, decades) of experience. For many people, we can fill a role in providing care and services often faster than your regular provider can get you in for an appointment. Not only can we prescribe for you, but we’re available to message with you and provide education and support through our email and text platform. However, we cannot fill every need and will let you know when you would be better treated by an in-person provider.
What is the one thing you wish everyone would know about their health (or “would do for their health”)?
Please do NOT believe everything you read on the internet. Your neighbor, aunt, or bestie is not you, so what works or doesn’t work for them may not apply to you. We know that you are an individual and want to help you find the best option to suit your needs. ASK QUESTIONS! Be honest about your medications and health conditions – we will not judge! Feel free to message us in between yearly prescriptions because we understand that you don’t only have questions or concerns when it’s time for a renewal. Take care of yourself and take charge of your health!
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.