Posts Tagged ‘breastfeeding’

Meet Health Coach Linda Johns: Pediatric Nurse Finds Work-Life Balance

January 10th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

This month’s inside look at a health coach, the choices she made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.

Linda Johns, RN, BSN, MHA, CPN, specializing in pediatric health and wellness for Femtique, Associates, Inc.

HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into health coaching?

Linda Johns: My first job out of college was as an adult physical rehabilitation nurse at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Darby, Pa. I worked there for five years, three out of four weekends a month. It was there that I saw a job posting for a two day a week position as a pediatric nurse. I applied and found my “niche.” I have been working in pediatrics now for 21 years.

I met Mary Jo Clarkson of Femtique while working as a clinical nurse supervisor for Bayada Nurses. She was a new nurse to pediatric home care, and was assigned to one of my pediatric clients. She told me about the classes she was taking towards becoming a certified health coach, and I was immediately interested in this new profession.

Have you received any health coaching certifications? If so, please list these certifications.

I have three classes left to complete my 40-week webinar graduate level certification curriculum in health coaching from Health Coach Alliance. I will then be able to take the test and become certified as a health coach. The standards of practice and the board certification are based upon the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?

Yes! I recently completed a nine-week basic breastfeeding course that was offered by the Philadelphia Department of Health. Femtique will start teaching maternal-child health nurses the 20-hour breastfeeding curriculum in the early part of 2013. I previously worked as a clinical instructor at a community college teaching second year nursing students on a pediatric floor at a local children’s hospital. I knew when I was taking this course that I would love teaching nurses the correct ways to teach moms to breastfeed! I just wish I knew all this information when I was breastfeeding my own children and teaching new moms in the hospital setting.

In brief, describe your organization:

Femtique Associates, Inc. is a non-profit healthcare advocate and health coach organization providing health and wellness care information and resources for women and children, so they can attain better outcomes in their lives and maintain an optimum level of wellness.

What are two or three important concepts or rules that you follow in health coaching?

  • To coach clients towards their goals and let them make their own healthy lifestyle decisions.
  • To use the eight realms of life: physical, psychological, spiritual, social, financial, environmental, professional/vocational and academic to help coach the “whole” person.
  • To realize that some clients cannot be coached.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2013?

Many physicians’ offices are employing health coaches to help their patient achieve healthier lifestyle changes. A health coach can spend much more time with the patient to help them set realistic goals. I am glad to be a part of this profession.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a health coach?

To help clients achieve their goals. I am also glad I have the opportunity to teach clients and professional nurses.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Havertown, Pa. I attended Haverford High School. I lived in the Delaware County area for 32 years before moving to Chester County, Pa, where I now reside.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

I attended Delaware County Community College after having my first child. I was a medical assistant and decided I wanted to advance my career and become a registered nurse. I obtained my associate degree and started working as a graduate nurse at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. I then had my second and third children. I did not go back to school until my youngest children were in middle school. I sat down with them and told them that I was considering going back to school for my BSN, and they were excited. I could not go back to school at a traditional college because I worked 12-hour shifts so I decided to enroll in an online program at the University of Phoenix. I completed my BSN four years later in January 2006. I was back in school one year later and obtained a master’s degree in health administration in January 2009. I later obtained a certification in pediatrics in 2010. I started health coaching classes in January 2012.

Are you married? Do you have children?

I am divorced but have been dating the same man for 13 years. I have three grown children and three grandchildren.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?

One of my favorite hobbies is researching different healthcare issues that have been either brought to my attention or that are of interest to me. I also enjoy reading and sewing. My boyfriend gave me a new sewing machine last year. My family gives me all of their clothes that need mending.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?

I am currently reading The Help on my Kindle. It is unbelievable to think of how not too long ago people acted toward each other because they had a different skin color.

I just went to the movies and saw The Hobbit. My boyfriend pointed out that it was nothing like the original Hobbit movie. I enjoyed watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy, on which the Hobbit was based.