Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Caitlin Hudgins worked as a bedside nurse in the Johns Hopkins critical care unit for 7 years before starting as a nurse practitioner in the neurocritical care unit in 2013. As part of the nurse practitioner group, she provides care for critically ill patients with a wide range of neurologic disease processes. She works closely with a team of physicians that includes a fellow, a neurointensivist, and either an anesthesiologist or neurologist. Despite the term “geriatric” in her title Ms. Hudgins actually cares for adults of all ages. She is trained to perform neurologic examinations and to detect subtle changes in a patient’s behavior. Like all of the nurse practitioners, she provides holistic care that covers everything from a patient’s physiology to his or her family. Thus, she is able to identify and coordinate each patient’s multidisciplinary needs.
In addition to her clinical duties, Ms. Hudgins is working with Dr. Lucia Rivera Lara to determine if noninvasive monitoring with near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to optimize blood pressure in patients with acute coma or encephalopathy. Individualizing a patient’s blood pressure target, rather than using the same target for all patients, may improve neurologic recovery.
In her job, Ms. Hudgins values the daily opportunity she has for learning, enjoys working with physicians and nurses, and loves being able to help patients and their families. In the future, she hopes to become more involved with hospital-wide research and plans to earn a doctorate so that she can teach in the nurse practitioner program.
Caitlin Hudgins received her undergraduate degree from Salisbury University in 2006 and her master’s degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 2012.