A Day in the Life of Prospero’s Leah Garton
It’s 6am: time to wake up, work out and get organized for a day of visiting patients in their homes. The work day ends and it’s a quick transition to dinner before night classes and homework. The lights aren’t out until about 2am. Finally, it’s time for bed.
This may sound like a long day, but for Leah Garton, it’s a good day. The type of day she loves.
Leah is a nurse practitioner (NP) serving the Connecticut community. She started at Prospero as a registered nurse in March of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and just recently became certified as a NP. Originally from Detroit, Leah began her career as a genetics researcher, and prior to Prospero she served as an oncology nurse.
Leah was a caregiver to both of her parents at a young age. “My dad always told me I’d make a great nurse,” she recalled, “so I applied to nursing school.” Leah’s dedication to her work as a NP is inspired by experiences with her dad, who passed away when Leah was in nursing school. He lived with severe Parkinson’s, diabetes, and blindness for 45 years, but her dad had a home health aide who made a significant impact on his life, and on Leah’s. “My dad’s home health aide cared for him in his home, she got to know him, she was at the funeral,” Leah remembered. “That’s the kind of impact I hope to have on my patients.”
“My dad always told me I’d make a great nurse.”
“I’m so excited to be a nurse practitioner with Prospero,” she says, “The care the patients need is in the home. When we go into the home we see what’s really going on. I feel as a nurse practitioner this is where I can affect the greatest change for my patients.”
Leah admits it was hard starting a new job during the pandemic, but her new role with Prospero made Leah feel even more connected to her patients. One of them, Dr. Alice Johnson, was formerly an infectious disease physician in New York City who has connected with Leah on a personal and intellectual level. Leah’s background in research is a bridge between them, and they have had many discussions about topics such as genetic variants of COVID-19.
The two of them have an incredibly fulfilling relationship. “Leah is the consummate professional,” says Dr. Johnson, “She’s calm. She’s passionate. She’s committed. She asks appropriate, probing questions to really know how I’m feeling. But more importantly, she offers valuable suggestions.” (Read more about Dr. Johnson’s experience with Prospero.)
Leah believes in the future of home-based medical care and the Prospero care model – 24/7 availability and collaboration with a patient’s other providers.
“Our model is unique. We really look at how we can give the best quality of life to our patients,” she says, “and we’re not just looking at it from ‘how’s your health, how are your vitals, how’s your disease progressing?’ We focus on holistic healthcare. We’re looking at what your home life is like—we’re looking at the whole picture.” She imagines a world where more primary care providers take their bags into the home, carrying everything they need with them so they can give the best care to their patients in the place where they are more comfortable.
“I love patient care, and I love seeing the patients and their families [in their homes],” Leah continued. “I love seeing the outcomes the Prospero care team and I give to them. I love seeing the joy. What inspires me is when one of my patients wants to give me a hug and tell me they love me. It feels amazing to develop such wonderful relationships with the people in our care.”
When she actually has a moment to reflect on her journey through healthcare, Leah thoughtfully pauses and then offers the following: “I would tell my younger self, ‘Do what you love…and the work day won’t feel like work.’ For me, that means meeting patients face-to-face where they are most comfortable.”
Interested in becoming a Prospero nurse practitioner? Apply now!