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Fertility Nurse of the Month: Darshana Naik

ART Institute of Washington, Washington, DC, October 2011

FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Darshana Naik as Fertility Nurse of the Month. Naik is the Nurse Manager for the A.R.T. Institute of Washington in Washington, DC.

The Path to Fertility Nursing

Born in England, Naik received her nursing degree from North London School in Health Studies. "I received my education in The United Kingdom and moved to the United States in 1994," Naik says. "I started on a medical unit to get my feet wet with nursing in the states."

Naik had always had an interest in women's health, particularly gynecology and reproductive medicine. "Once I got an opportunity to move into gynecology, I took it," she says "I have been in the field of Infertility for the last 15 years. Infertility just fell at my door step, and I have never looked back."

A Typical Day

The ART Institute of Washington is affiliated with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and The National Institutes of Health with the mission of delivering a high standard of care to the members of the United States military. As the nurse manager of the IVF Clinic, Naik helps patients navigate the process from the time they are referred to the fertility clinic for in vitro fertilization (IVF) to the time they are discharged to their primary care physician.

"We have patients from around the world as this is the largest facility that provides this service for the Armed Forces," she says. Not surprisingly when working with military, a typical day starts early with a 6 a.m. blood draws, sonorgrams and answering patients' questions. "We then move into surgeries," Naik says. "During the day, we are also dealing with telephone calls and getting patients ready for their IVF cycles."

The day ends with a review of all the patients that were seen and preparation for the next early morning. "Every morning when I come in to do the morning clinic, a patient always has a kind word to say about how grateful they are that we are here this early," Naik says.

At the ART Institute, in vitro fertilizations for military personnel are scheduled during cycles that are pre-set during the year. "Our program is a little different in that we do our IVF in cycles," Naik says. "We have four cycles a year treating approximately 400 patients a year." A cycle typically lasts three weeks. After the initial baseline appointment, the first week does not have to be spent locally, but patients need to stay local for the last two weeks because there are several early morning monitoring appointments that can be daily or every other day.

Helping Patients

Naik receives much satisfaction from making a difference in patients' lives, particularly by being there for them when they are coping the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, which can be quite a shock. "Our patients are dealing with a condition that is not visible," she says. "We never think that having children will be a problem for us. We can make a difference not just by them having a baby but by making the process of dealing with infertility easier."

Seeing a positive end result is a bonus. "I love it when my patients come back to the clinic with their babies — it makes my day."

Naik's dedication to her patients is apparent in her work as an IVF nurse manager. FertilityAuthority congratulates Darshana Naik on being recognized as Fertility Nurse of the Month.

Nominate Your Fertility Nurse

In honor of these hard working nurses who hold our hands throughout our treatment experiences, will feature a dedicated infertility clinic nurse each month. You can nominate your favorite clinic nurse by clicking here. We will contact you if your nurse is chosen to be our Nurse of the Month.

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