May 03, 2023 | Clinics
Building for Today and Tomorrow is something we do every day here at Mountain Park Health Center. And we do that in more ways than caring for the health of our patients. We’re also helping shape the healthcare providers of the future.
Mountain Park is a teaching clinic, taking in around 100 students annually from Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and medical and dental programs. They spend time shadowing our providers and assisting in patient care. Some of these students enjoy their time with us so much that they have come back to be full-time providers. That happened to Tyler Cluff, Nurse Practitioner at our Gateway Clinic.
Tyler first came to us in 2020 as a student at our Gateway Clinic, where he worked closely with Nurse Practitioner Heidi Dillenbeck.
“As a student, you’re required to do so many clinical hours, and even when I had completed the required hours, I kept coming back,” said Tyler. “I really enjoyed being here. The people I got to work with and the patient population kept me coming back.”
It was apparent almost immediately that Tyler had found exactly where he wanted to be, here at Mountain Park.
“It is rewarding to me to see how a student can develop into a valuable Mountain Park provider,” said Heidi. “He has embraced his role and still continues to further his medical education to provide the best care to our patients.”
Tyler’s interest in healthcare started during his time as a first responder. He worked as a paramedic with the fire department for four years.
“A majority of emergency calls that come in are medically related,” said Tyler. “I decided to go to nursing school to continue to care for patients. As a paramedic, you work in an ambulance. As a nurse, I could care for patients in several capacities.”
The variety of the inpatient population is one of the reasons Tyler chose to become a family nurse practitioner and go into family medicine.
“As a family nurse practitioner, I can see patients from newborns to geriatrics and I can treat a lot of conditions,” said Tyler. “I can be the most beneficial and I have the most opportunity to learn more about medicine.”
Being able to see patients from birth through adulthood is another thing Tyler enjoys about being in family medicine.
“It’s so great when you get to establish care with a whole family,” said Tyler. “You start with caring for the parents, and then they have kids, and they bring their kids, and you get to care for them as they grow up. I really enjoy being with a patient through the span of their life.”
Outside of work, Tyler has the same passion for family connections. As a father and husband, he spends most of his free time with his wife and kids. They enjoy activities like swimming, going to the movies, and having family dinners.
“I was born and raised here in Arizona and my family is here,” said Tyler. “Having everyone so close is really great.”
Tyler first came to Mountain Park as a student and now that he is a full-time nurse practitioner with us, he’s working to reach and encourage the healthcare providers of the future, bringing him full circle. Recently Tyler attended a high school career day where he got to speak to students about Mountain Park and being a nurse practitioner. He’s even visited his own children’s classroom where he showed a group of 1st graders his stethoscope and let them listen to their heartbeat. “You should have seen the kids’ smiles,” Tyler said. “Ear to ear.”
“It’s great getting to communicate with younger generations and give them advice on steps to take as they work toward their career,” said Tyler. “I see myself being a preceptor in the future and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Tyler has been invited to attend another career day and is happy to spread the word about Mountain Park and what it’s like to be a part of our healthcare team. Thank you so much for helping us Build for Today and Tomorrow, Tyler!
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