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Meet Pa Kou Thao, Nurse Practitioner

Mar. 6, 2024 7:08 am

You don't question an epiphany. Such a revelatory moment can only be absorbed, followed.

Nonetheless, Pa Kou Thao did question the timing of hers.

"I was a year from graduating with my business degree when I got to be part of my nephew's birth," said the newest provider at Women's Care of Wisconsin. "Two weeks before the semester started and I was like, "Yeah, I don't think this is what I want to do."

Thao immediately threw her business classes into a minor, switched to a nursing major, and started fresh.

It was a decision she knew she had to make. She never wavered, although a thought did cross her mind every now and then.

"There were times when I said to myself, 'I could be getting my master's right now."

Thao pursued her calling, earned her nursing degree and became a labor and delivery nurse. Later, she would continue her studies and achieve her certification as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner with a focus on women's health.

You wouldn't know it by looking at her, but she's 17 years into her healthcare gig. With that kind of experience, no surprise there wasn't a nanosecond of hesitation when asked about her philosophy of patient care.

"Everybody who walks through the door to see me is like a family member, right?" said Thao. "I'm going to treat you like you are my family, because that's how I would want somebody to treat any family member of mine if the roles were reversed."

Not that she wouldn't have had great success in the business world and made her mark there, but Thao relishes the impact she can make as a healthcare provider.

"My work is so fulfilling," said Thao. "I love being able to develop long lasting relationships with my patients, people who come to see me year after year because we have that bond of trust."

Thao is a highly positive force-easygoing, personable, empathetic. It's easy to see why her patients love to see her.

Well, she had a bit of a different spin on that one.

"Almost every patient that comes in is like, 'I hate these yearly exams!' And I always tell them nobody enjoys them! But it's so great they come in-it's so important to take care of yourself and make sure you're keeping yourself healthy."

A provider who effortlessly turns a first visit into a fast friendship, Thao loves connecting with her patients and using her expertise to make a difference in their lives.

Clearly the path of someone who followed her heart.


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