by Vickie Jenkins, staff writer
Imes Sleep Services treats all sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, insomnia, parasomnias and restless leg syndrome.
Tracey Dudley, APRN-CNP has been at Imes Sleep Services since March 2019. A professional in every way, Tracey is fortunate to work with Dr. Norman Imes who is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Sleep Medicine along with her colleague Diem Nguyenho, PA-C.
Growing up in Bethany and Oklahoma City, Tracey went to the University of Central Oklahoma for her undergraduate and the University of South Alabama for her masters degree. “My first job as a nurse was in the pediatric ICU at OU Children’s Hospital. After becoming a nurse practitioner, I provided face-to-face recertifications for hospice patients across most of central and western Oklahoma.” (story continues below)
“I consider myself a lifelong learner and strive to expand my knowledge base daily. Obtaining my nurse practitioner degree was the next natural step for me,” Tracey added.
“In our practice, we make it a priority to get to know our patents, their medical problems lifestyle and circumstances. We make referrals to other health care professionals when needed, follow up on test results and make inquiries regarding other medical issues. We care about the overall welfare of our patents and treating them effectively, but are also allotted adequate time to do so.”
“When I was little, I always wanted to be a midwife.” Tracey said, with a smile. Tracey’s mother influenced her to become a nurse. “My mom was a hospice nurse for over twenty-five years. The compassion and knowledge that my mom had shared over the years is an incredible legacy. As far as becoming a nurse practitioner, I wanted to take this same goal of compassionate care and make healthcare more accessible,” Tracey commented.
With the qualities of an extraordinary nurse, Tracey shows kindness, compassion, along with being a hard-worker, team player and multi-talker. “My biggest reward as a nurse is the fact that I am passionate about Sleep Medicine. Proper treatment of sleep apnea can absolutely change someone’s life. This goes for any sleep disorder. That we see in the clinic. It is amazing to be a part of the process. The biggest challenge is when some patients are resistant to care, which makes our job challenging in many circumstances,” Tracey said.
Tracey stays busy as she sees approximately one hundred sixty to two hundred patients per month, including both new patients and follow-up visits. “I work in a busy clinic, so we are often on the go. I see patients from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and when I am not in a patient’s room, then I am calling to discuss sleep study results and field questions that they may have. We make it a practice to return any patient’s phone call by the end of the work day.”
Asking what advice Tracey would give to someone thinking about going into the medical field, she replied, “I would tell them to study, study, study! Ask all of the questions and find mentors to help you along the way. Just as important, take care of yourself and create good habits.”
“I have had many mentors during my nursing career, including my first pediatric clinical instructor, Kate Brashears, DNP, APRN, PC-PNP and my PICU preceptor, Kristi Ryans, RN extraordinaire. Nursing school is comradery in itself, so I will forever be grateful for my tribe along the way. I also had some great preceptors during graduate school including Leah Melton, APRN-CNP, Beth Veatch, APRN-CPNP and Michelle Crawley APRN-CNP that each took the time to teach me critical concepts.”
“Today, I am fortunate to work with a physician who shares his extensive knowledge base with me daily. He has taken the time to mentor me and teach me everything related to sleep and the practice of medicine. He never leaves us without continuing education, which I am grateful.”
Tracey considers herself a leader and a follower, depending on the situation. “I think it is important to understand when I need to be in either role,” she said. “I truly want to understand a concept, whatever that may be. I feel that I am compassionate, driven and goal oriented. My family is everything to me and I try to spend as much time with them as possible.”
Asking Tracey to sum up her life in three words, she replied, “ Caring creative and incisive. For more information on Imes Sleep Services visit https://imessleepservices.com/