‘Finding out the why’

Psychiatric nurse practitioner opens practice in ER


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Shauna Norton is seen in her office Monday, Nov. 25. Norton, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, opened her own practice in Eagle River about two months ago.

MIKE NESPER

We’ve all seen and read news stories about people committing horrific crimes. But it’s the reason behind those acts that intrigues Shauna Norton.

“That’s the part that fascinates me,” she said. “To find out the why.”

That curiosity pushed Norton to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Norton, an advanced nurse practitioner, opened her own practice about two months ago in Eagle River.

Norton ran her own practice for six years in the Lower 48 before moving back to Alaska, she said during an interview last month in her office on VFW Road.

Norton, who lived in Fairbanks while growing up, offers psychiatric evaluations, medication management and therapy.

Norton said she feels lucky that her patients trust her to help them through difficult times.

“I see it as a privilege to share people’s … intimate and emotional experience,” she said. “I can’t tell you how deeply moved I have been in the past.”

Norton said she also enjoys being able to give people an explanation for why they act a certain way.

While she treats disorders such as anxiety, depression and Attention Deficit Disorder, Norton said she doesn’t like to put labels on her patients.

“I treat symptoms,” she said.

Norton, who enjoys hunting, fishing and photography, said she wants her patients to feel comfortable in her office. Sometimes that means using appropriate humor.

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re gonna need a lot of therapy,” she said.

For more information, visit www.shaunanorton.com. To schedule an appointment, call 782-4544.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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