Assuring patients they can do hard things

Rose Staden

APP Spotlight: Rose Staden, Nurse Practitioner, Infectious Diseases, University Hospital and HIV Care/Prevention Clinic

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mom and live with my husband and kids in the fun Tenney-Lapham neighborhood. I love playing sand volleyball in the summer and all the outdoor activities Madison has to offer. We try to travel by bike as much as possible and it has been fun exploring with my kids this summer. I am the only nurse practitioner in the UW Health HIV Care and Prevention Program. After 10 years, I continue to thrive in my role.

My husband and I live in Madison with our two children, ages 6 and 4. We have extended family throughout Wisconsin and Illinois and on both coasts.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in rural west central Wisconsin, near Tomah.

How did you come to UW Health?

I started as an inpatient registered nurse after graduating from UW–Madison School of Nursing and returned following graduate school as a nurse practitioner.

What inspires you about your profession?

HIV and HIV prevention have evolved significantly. It’s amazing to think how far treatment has come. Unfortunately, we are still far from a cure, but it’s encouraging to share with new patients that with daily medication they can live a long healthy life, have a family and continue activities they love. With effective HIV treatment, there is no risk of sexual transmission to partners, which is really important information to empower patients with. We are able to offer very effective, well-tolerated HIV-prevention medications to anyone at risk for HIV. We continue to spread the word about HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)—and it is rewarding to give patients this tool for prevention.

Do you have a memorable moment in your career that has stayed with you?

Receiving a diagnosis of HIV is a life-altering experience. I want patients to know that we understand this and that it gets better. I’ve seen people come full circle, from devastation at diagnosis, to showing strength during treatment, to celebrating their undetectable status. To be a part of each patient’s journey is not only an honor, but has become a part of how I practice. I find strength in this process and work hard to convey hope to those who are newly diagnosed. We follow patients long term, so we are there with them to share in many of their life experience. I feel fortunate to share in patients’ joy as they have babies they never thought they would have, become HIV peer mentors to support others, and incorporate their diagnosis into their lives, however that works for them.

What have your patients taught you about yourself?

My patients have taught me how to use the urban dictionary! It’s been so useful with our young adult patients. Every patient has their own unique experience, and to effectively do my job, I need to ask questions and be curious. It is essential that I convey this interest in a nonjudgmental way, and assure them we can all do hard things. HIV treatment has come such a long way and can be well-managed with a daily pill for many patients, but stigma is still pervasive. Many have overcome very challenging situations and adversity. My patients inspire me.

In a few words, how would you describe your coworkers and team at UW Health?

I work with an amazing team of nurses, social workers, pharmacists, medical assistants and clinicians. This is critical to comprehensive HIV care, and the insight from each team member is so valuable. Everyone works well together to provide thorough and smooth visit but as well as ongoing support for patients beyond the clinic visit. It is through this collaboration with our team that patients remain engaged in care.

Outside of work, what did you accomplish this year that makes you proud?

I taught my 4-year-old to ride his bike without training wheels and he loves it so much!