by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
We are here to understand the impact of pediatric asthma on the health of the Native American population. -Dr. Janice Hixson, MD Pediatric Director, John Dimmer, APRN-PNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-
Meet John Dimmer, APRN-PNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner where you will find him working at the OKCIC Asthma Pediatric Clinic. With an outgoing personality and a contagious smile and laugh, it is easy to see why he is the perfect person to work in a Pediatric clinic, caring for children ages birth through seventeen years old.
Asking John why he wanted to become a nurse, caring for children in the Oklahoma Indian Clinic, he said, “My main concern is to make sure the children are taken care of. Asthma affects 14% of Native Americans within the state of Oklahoma. My goal is to help children get healthy. I am here to make sure every child is taken care of, meeting their every health care need,” John replied. “Here at the clinic, parents never need to worry about the cost of tests or medication,” he added.
“Kids are such a joy to work with. Besides that, taking care of the kids help me stay young,” he said with a laugh. There is nothing like examining one of the toddlers and looking for monkeys and birds in their ears.” He laughed. “You have to keep it light and joke around; kids love it. It makes them happy and makes them giggle. Every child loves to come here as much as I love seeing them. Plus, the nurses here are wonderful! I couldn’t ask for anything better. Here, we will run several tests on the child to see if they have asthma. If they do, we show the parents and the child the correct way to use an inhaler and we will prescribe what is needed and continue with virtual follow up visits,” John said. “Children are seen 5 days a week, but we have a special day for the asthma clinic. We have the latest equipment; we get their vitals, biopsies if needed, and spirometry is done. We also help the children with obesity, exercise and depression.”
Growing up in Choctaw, OK, John went to Saint Gregory’s, receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Biology. Then, onto Stony Brook University in New York for his Masters, and Oklahoma City University where he received his nursing degree. John has been a nurse for fourteen years now and has been at the clinic for nine years.
What is your favorite part of your job? “I love kids! I like seeing the kids and teaching them the basic steps to taking care of themselves. There are all sorts of programs that the children can get involved in too. I also work with the kids when it comes to different opportunities. We offer martial arts for health and obesity. Through that, I see the kids developing self-esteem and confidence. They get plenty of exercise and become physically healthy.”
What qualities make a good nurse? “I think a nurse needs to look beyond the inner circle and be there to help in any situation. They should be caring, never putting anyone down, no matter what the circumstances are,” John replied.
John was happy to announce that the Pediatric Asthma Clinic was given a $15,000 grant funding through Blue Cross Blue Shield. This will allow Healthpic Data software installation, along with continuous process improvement for clinic flow and documentation templates.
On a personal note, John is married to his wonderful wife, Jennifer who is a pulmonary nurse at Children’s Hospital. They have three daughters, Jordan, 13, Taylor, 10 and Reese, 7. John likes spending time with his family and being outdoors. “I like hiking, boating, and I love fishing with my daughters.” If not busy enough, John is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Grand Master Hans in Martial Arts. John and Jennifer go to True Grit Fitness in Edmond, OK every morning to exercise and stay healthy, plus setting an example to their children. “It is such a great feeling knowing that you are healthy. Exercise is good for depression and anxiety too.”
Asking John what motivated him. He replied, “My motivation comes in multiple parts, I am motivated spiritually; I want to be a better person, and I am motivated by my wife and kids; trying to do the best I can for them, and I am motivated by my friends and fellow-workers,” he said.
Summing up John’s life in one word? BLESSED