Staff Spotlight: Douglas Ludington, FNP

We’re excited to welcome another new member to the Balance Psychiatric Services team, Douglas Ludington, FNP. As a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), he has spent almost two decades in nursing, helping people from all ages and walks of life. Keep reading to learn about his experience, specialties, and best tips for preparing for your first visit with a nurse practitioner.

Discovering a Passion for Serving Others

Growing up, Doug always loved helping others. Whether friends, family, or strangers, he was drawn to assisting others in their time of need from a young age. Because of this, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field.

He says, “After exploring some aspects of healthcare, I found nursing to be my calling. I loved bedside nursing, and becoming a family nurse practitioner was a natural progression.”

Doug graduated with his Bachelor of Nursing from Brigham Young University in 2005, where he gained experience working with many different kinds of patients throughout the hospital. However, most of his experience is in emergency medicine.

Then, he pursued his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of St. Francis with an emphasis on family medicine, graduating in 2017.

When he’s not meeting patients, Doug, his wife, and seven beautiful children enjoy spending time together outdoors, fishing, camping, and hiking. He’s also passionate about hobbies like apiary (beekeeping), reading, and running.

Specializing in Treating the Entire Family

After spending years in the emergency room as an NP, Doug decided it was time to specialize. As a family nurse practitioner, his training is advanced, but it is more general and focuses on providing primary care.

He has helped his patients of all ages and walks of life manage family planning, monitor blood pressure, and assess and treat fatigue, hormone imbalance, sexual health, acute illness, and chronic illness. But among the diverse people he’d worked with, from newborns to older adults, he was especially inspired to provide care for children at all stages of development.

Along with this, he decided that while he loved the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients in person, he pivoted to telehealth—something many nurse practitioners, including all the clinicians at Balance Psychiatric Services, are doing post-COVID-19. But why does he love telehealth so much? What are the benefits of virtual health visits instead of seeing a provider in person?

“Telehealth is perfect for home-bound individuals, busy professionals who don’t want to miss work, the overworked stay-at-home mom who never gets time away from children, children with ADHD who need to be in school instead of a doctor’s office, and the long haul truck driver who is never home,” he explains.

It gives people who need to be seen by a doctor the convenience of fitting appointments into their already busy schedule. However, to Doug, “it brings healthcare back to the home, like when the doctor did home visits.”

Favorite Parts of the Job

According to Doug, one of the best parts of being a nurse practitioner is the joy you get to experience when you see improvements in people’s lives. When someone takes an active role in caring for their health, they can become empowered to make other lifestyle changes — making existing a bit easier. You might have experienced this in your own life. If you have, you know how essential it is to have a provider that understands and listens to you.

One such story involves a client who initially came to him asking for disability paperwork, feeling hopeless about the chronic breathlessness that forced her to every 100 feet while shopping. After conducting some tests, she was prescribed inhalers, and just two weeks later, she returned to the clinic excitedly, sharing how she went grocery shopping without needing to pause. Doug was thrilled to see her new lease on life, knowing he played a part in making her everyday activities more enjoyable and less of a challenge.

A special education teacher’s weight loss journey is another testament to Doug’s dedication to his job. This patient initially came to her appointment using canes due to hip pain from osteoarthritis and obesity. She was ineligible for hip replacement surgery until her BMI dropped below 35. Over the past 18 months, he has worked closely with her, resulting in a remarkable weight loss of almost 150 pounds. With her surgery scheduled in the upcoming months, Doug describes finding immense satisfaction in knowing his efforts have helped her regain mobility and plan for a healthier, pain-free future.

Preparing for Your First Visit With a Nurse Practitioner

If you’re looking for a family nurse practitioner willing to listen to your concerns and go the extra mile to provide you with personalized, holistic care, consider scheduling an appointment with Doug Ludington, FNP.

But what’s the best way to prepare for your first visit with a psychiatric mental health or family nurse practitioner like Doug? He recommends gathering a list of your medications (including the dose and frequency) and any medical history, surgical history, and allergy notes.

Having a goal in mind also helps, he says, focusing on whatever part of their health they want to improve or investigate. For example, you might want to improve anxiety or depression, lose weight, better focus, or simply touch base with an expert to see if you’re making the right choices about your health.

How can you schedule an appointment with Doug? Fill out our contact form or call us at 412-467-6410.

Thank you, Doug, for sharing your story with us!

Stay tuned for more staff spotlights and blogs about Doug’s areas of specialty.