Stroke Month caregiver profile: Leighann Persondek, APRN | Ascension

Stroke Month caregiver profile: Leighann Persondek, APRN

LeighAnn Persondek has served as a nurse practitioner in the Ascension Via Christi Comprehensive Stroke Center for more than a decade.

While Persondek has found that caring for patients in an emergency situation can be stressful, being there to give them hope and encouragement is tremendously rewarding.

“Some of my favorite parts of the job are seeing the improvements in patients from the time of arrival to discharge,” she says, always staying mindful that “stroke care and recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.”

However, being staffed and equipped to provide state-of-the-art care to patients suffering even the most acute strokes is only part of her job.

She and her Stroke Center teammates constantly are educating patients, their families and the community about the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

“If I can teach one patient or family member what they can do to prevent another stroke, what signs and symptoms to look for and what to do if they happen again or to even just understand what happened to them, then I can make a difference,” says Persondek.

Just remember: BE FAST: Balance, eyes, face, arms, speech and time, which Persondek says is the most important factor in recovery. “Time is brain, so the faster you get help, the better off you will be,” she says.

If in doubt, she says, call 9-1-1 for transport to the hospital. “We would rather see you in the emergency room and have it turn out not to be a stroke than for you to delay coming until it is too late for an acute intervention,” she says.

Persondek says she’s proud to serve on a high-performing team working as one to help save lives.

“I continue to learn something new every day from this team,” she says. “Our team is continually trying to improve what we do so that we can provide you with the best care possible.”


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