Jessica Jensen | Managing Editor
Editor’s Note: This is a follow-up from a story in the Aug. 22, 2018, edition of the Lyon County Reporter that contained misinformation. The Reporter regrets the errors.
When it comes to her role in providing health care, nurse practitioner Stacy Jumbeck of George wants people to know she’s here and that people can come to her for primary care.
Having been raised in George, her local roots run deep. She was Miss Lyon County in 1992 and graduated from George-Little Rock High School. She and husband, Ed, a G-LR boys’ basketball assistant coach, are raising their family in her home community where Stacy is involved and active in her church.
Since July 1, the nurse practitioner has been providing health care to friends and neighbors at Sanford Clinic in George after working nine years in Worthington, Minnesota. “I had a very busy, great practice in Worthington. It was HARD to make the decision to leave but my kids were in middle school and starting high school and I was missing so much,” Jumbeck said.
Stacy graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1996. She earned a master’s degree from there in 2006 and began her career as a nurse practitioner. Jumbeck has worked for Sanford as a nurse practitioner 12 years, commuting from George to Worthington nine of those years.
Three years ago, she began seeing patients at Sanford Sheldon and also sees patients in Boyden. “That (working in Boyden) was really the start of seeing people I know — neighbors, friends, people that go to my church,” Jumbeck explained. “I was definitely made for small-town health care because of those relationships.” And it’s the best part of her job, she says. “My favorite part of what I do is I would see the matriarch of the family in her 70s and 80s and then see her daughter and then her daughter, and in a couple instances the little ones. When they come in and I can talk about the kids, grandkids, ask ‘How’s grandma?’ that’s really the best part,” said Jumbeck.
There’s a comfort level and trust in those relationships because Jumbeck is someone they’ve known for years, who as a nurse practitioner is positioned to provide a certain level of care. It’s a level of care she received at a younger age as a patient herself and that solidified her career choice. “When I was a junior in high school, I had a car accident. A bad one,” she explained. “I went through the ER in Rock Rapids, was flown to Sioux Falls and was in the hospital, flat on my back for a month. Nurses were everything. I couldn’t do anything for myself. That experience really cemented that this is what I wanted to do.”
Her first nursing job was in Sioux City. While doing her clinical rotation as a nurse practitioner, Jumbeck did two at Sanford Rock Rapids. “That was my first taste of caring for the community,” she explained. “My nursing experience was in a larger place but (doctor) Chet (DeJong) did his morning here (George clinic) and (doctor) Dave (Springer) did his morning here and I would come over here with them. I remember thinking, ‘Oh to be able to work local would be great’,” said Jumbeck.
Now she’s seeing her local roots and career come full circle in a personal way. “I think once someone sees a nurse practitioner, usually they have a good experience and one reason is we we’re nurses first,” said Jumbeck. “We started out in that caring mode with the patient being the focus. When we become a provider, the patient is still the focus always, and as a patient you can feel that. You just get a feel for it being a personal thing.” With patients having choices in health care providers, Jumbeck feels the personal connection and attention to details are important things to consider. “Nurse practitioners do a good job of asking, ‘These are the pills you’re on, do you have any questions? Do you know what your pills are for?’ and helping them understand things like, ‘Yes, you have a sinus infection but these are some other things you can try to relieve your symptoms.’ The education piece is huge,” said Jumbeck, who also enjoys providing well care to patients.
While she’s happy to be providing health care at home as a nurse practitioner, Jumbeck also wants the community to know one thing. “I feel it’s important for people in the rural area to have a choice to stay local,” she said. “If you want to stay local, people need to know we can care for you here.”