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Fertility Nurse of the Month: Anne Wendel, RN, BSN
Anne Wendel, RN, BSN, is described by one of her colleagues as “experienced, hard-working, upbeat and compassionate.” She is the Clinical Coordinator and Manager of the IVF Procedure Team at Main Line Fertility in Bryn Mawr, PA. She is also the Co-coordinator of the center’s Oncofertility Preservation Program. Fertility Authority is pleased to recognize Ann Wendel as Nurse of the Month.
Wendel has worked at Main Line Fertility since the fertility clinic opened14 years ago. As the practice has grown and expanded, so has her role, which is both administrative and clinical in nature. She was instrumental in the planning and launch of the new center which opened in January 2013, including attending meetings with building representatives and the Department of Public Health, and developing policies and procedures regarding patient care.
Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
She’s extremely proud of Main Line Fertility’s oncofertility program which she helped launch approximately five months ago. Cancer patients can freeze eggs, embryos or sperm prior to cancer treatment that may leave them infertile. Wendel explains that when a newly diagnosed cancer patient calls the center, she will be seen by a physician within 24 hours, and Wendel is available to the patients via email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “Typically we can see a patient between surgery and chemotherapy, in the case of breast cancer, or chemo or radiation, if it is acceptable to the oncologist. We try and fit into their plan,” she says.
During the patient’s first appointment, “We try to make it one stop shop. We draw blood, give an orientation, and teach them how to do injections. What they don’t need is one more place to go or one more appointment or one more person asking a question,” she adds. Patients have told Wendell that knowing that they have frozen embryos helps them get through treatment. More than one said, “It gives me hope.”
The fee for the IVF cycle is discounted 50 percent and the anesthesiologists have discounted their fee 50 percent as well. “We are able to obtain free [fertility drugs] for them, thousands of dollars’ worth of medications one of two places: via the LiveStrong foundation, or via a Walgreens-Ferring initiative,” Wendel adds.
Wendel also participates in outreach to oncologists, hematologists, and surgeons to help raise awareness of the center, and encourage them to discuss fertility preservation with their patients.
A Patient Centered Outlook
Wendell speaks fondly about the clinical aspects of her job. “Patients know we are standing on the ledge with them. We cry with them and we laugh with them. We pride ourselves with knowing every patient that comes through here, we know their situation and we’re fighting with them. [Treatment] doesn’t always work out with everyone – for most people it does – but for those that don’t get to build their family with IVF, they still know they have our love and our support. And to me that’s what it’s about.”
Nominate Your Fertility Nurse
In honor of these hard working nurses who hold our hands throughout our fertility treatment experiences, FertilityAuthority.com will feature a dedicated fertility clinic nurse each month. You can nominate your favorite fertility clinic nurse by clicking here. We will contact you if your nurse is chosen to be our Fertility Nurse of the Month.