“The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”
That’s how Temitope Mary Falade, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, sums up her passion as a nurse practitioner who specializes in cardiology.
She pointed out that heart health affects every aspect of a person. “It’s vital. Your heart health is everything,” said Falade, who goes by Mary.
When your heart is healthy, your whole body benefits.
“It helps to reduce other conditions like cancer,” she said. “It also helps you economically to spend less on your care.”
Helping patients see that big picture, and understand the finer details, is how Falade sees her role.
“I want to educate people and help them understand the importance of heart health,” she said. “Education is a passion for me. It’s a driving force.”
When patients see her, they will already have had a visit with their cardiologist.
“I go over with them what they had done and answer any questions or new concerns they have. I educate them on their condition, their medications, their blood work,” Falade said.
It’s important that patients understand, so they can take better care of themselves.
“It takes a good amount of education about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” she said.
It’s also important to Falade to not do all the talking.
“I spend a lot of time listening to patients. I want them to express themselves as much as they can,” she said.
Falade was attracted by the challenge of cardiology and chose it as a specialty as she completed her online master’s program with Walden University in Minneapolis.
She had decided to pursue becoming a nurse practitioner because of her experience working as a nurse at CHI St. Alexius Health.
“In the course of my training with nurse practitioners in the primary care clinic, I liked what they did. I said, ‘I want to be like you!’”
The nurse practitioners and physician assistants she worked with, her “secret mentors,” spurred her on. Falade was also encouraged by one patient in particular.
“We met here when I was a nurse in the primary care clinic. She was like, ‘I want you to be my doctor.’ I think it was because of my listening ability. That’s one thing I see that sticks out. People want a listening ear.”
Before she came to the U.S. from Nigeria, Falade worked as a nurse “all over the place” –
from emergency departments to working in pediatrics, in women’s health and as a midwife.
She met her husband while they attended the same university. “I was in college for the midwife program. I was already an RN,” she said.
The two also went to the same church.
“The one thing that is paramount to me is I am religious. I serve Jesus. My husband is a local pastor,” Falade said.
The couple, who have been married for 16 years, came to the states out of a sense of adventure. “We love to travel,” Falade said.
They’ve been in Williston for four years, or “four winters,” as Falade described it.
The change in climate was a challenge the entire family has warmed to.
“The first year was a bit rough, but my kids like it here. They like the snow,” Falade said.
When she isn’t in the clinic, Falade enjoys family time. Her children, ages 15, 14 and 11, are into sports - especially soccer - and music.
Falade is also a dedicated cook. The family is more likely to eat at home than eat out because, she said, “I really love cooking.”
As a nurse practitioner, Falade also tries to leave patients satisfied.
“I want to help people and make sure I give them the best care,” she said. “I want them to leave happier and with more relief than when they came in.”