Amanda Goplen

Above: Amanda Goplen, APNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, is a nurse practitioner who serves as the “glue” of the inpatient family medicine teaching service at University Hospital

Every day, in the D4/6 unit of University Hospital, Amanda Goplen, APNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, coordinates the care of 14 to 16 patients on our inpatient family medicine teaching service.

Goplen’s role is unique: as the service’s sole full-time staff member, she provides a continuity and presence that benefits patients, learners and staff alike.

Teaching Residents Inpatient

The family medicine inpatient teaching service admits patients from 13 UW Health family medicine community clinics and three Access Community Health Centers clinics (Wingra, Evjue and Erdman). Most patients are adults who have a broad range of diagnoses and who require general, nonsurgical care.

The staff comprises an attending family physician, three Madison family medicine senior residents, a first-year Madison family medicine resident and a first-year psychiatry resident—each of whom rotate through it in one- to four-week blocks.

The service offers residents an opportunity to care for patients through the outpatient to inpatient spectrum in a busy, high-volume center. It prepares them for future practice that, depending on their career goals, may include inpatient care in a similar setting.

The ‘Glue’

Since joining the service in November 2013, Goplen has formed relationships with all the nurses on the unit and many consulting physicians. This enables her to help rotating team members navigate the hospital system efficiently and provide continuity for patients, especially those who have complex medical or psychosocial circumstances and are hospitalized frequently.

Medical directors Louis Sanner, MD, MSPH, and Nicole Bonk, MD, both describe her as not only an excellent clinician, but the “glue” that holds the service together with grace and good humor.

“She takes on difficult patient care coordination problems that span multiple hospitalizations, and is a consistent communicator about improvements in our service operation and hospital care policies,” notes Dr. Sanner. “On a day-to-day basis, Amanda is often the face and voice of our teaching service. She does all this while supporting the leadership development of our residents and junior faculty.”

“We are very fortunate to have Amanda there on a regular basis to help keep us updated on changes within the system, help provide an excellent communication pathway with our nursing staff, and provide additional teaching for our residents,” affirms Dr. Bonk.

Rewards and Awards

Goplen says her job is rewarding because it gives her “the best of both worlds”: an opportunity to use her clinical training as a nurse and work closely with learners to make the service better for everyone. She adds that the frequent team rotations provide “a new challenge every month that keeps me on my toes.”

Her expertise and presence has not gone unrecognized. She was honored with a Clinical Teacher Award in 2014-2015 from the Madison family medicine residents, and was nominated for both a UW Health Advanced Practice Provider Excellence Award  in Leadership and a Nursing Excellence Award in Leadership and Advanced Practice (in 2015 and 2017, respectively).

Thank you, Amanda, for all you do!

Published: June 2017