Dr.Pettit practices with midwives and nurse practitioners as a group. This means that one of these providers will be available to care for you twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, should an emergency occur. When you make routine office appointments, you may choose the provider you wish to see. If surgery would be required, the doctor will perform the operation. If you develop an emergency problem, the doctor is available to see you.
Pregnant women are strongly encouraged to see the doctor and each nurse-midwife during the pregnancy. This guarantees that the doctor and each midwife are familiar with every patient before the labor and delivery process. Due to the large number of pregnant women in our practice, it is necessary that the midwives take turns being on call. The doctor is always available as needed.
Dr. Pettit is on the Clinical Faculty at Ohio State University and Ohio University in the Depts. of OB-GYN. Our office is an approved clinical training site for student physicians from all Ohio medical schools.
Several nurse practitioners are part of our practice. The nurse practitioner is a registered professional nurse who has received additional specialized education and clinical training. This special training prepares her to provide direct patient care and a wide variety of health services, as well as to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions. The nurse practitioner performs physical examinations, emphasizing gynecologic evaluations, takes routine tests, provides appropriate contraceptive methods, evaluates and manages minor gynecologic illness in collaboration with the physician, refers other abnormal conditions to the physician, educates and counsels on healthful living habits. Nurse practitioners are also prepared to provide ambulatory prenatal and postpartum care for women with normal pregnancies. Nurse practitioners do not diagnose or treat serious abnormalities. They do refer patients with such suspected problems to a physician. Contraception and medication for the treatment of minor gynecologic problems are provided to patients under standing orders and procedures approved by the physician. Consulting physicians are always on call.
A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual who was initially educated as a registered nurse, then received advanced education and professional training in nurse-midwifery, and who is certified according to the standards of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. The nurse-midwife not only specializes in women and newborns through pregnancy and delivery, but also is qualified to care for women throughout their life cycles.
Nurse midwives know that most pregnancies and births are uncomplicated, and they emphasize education and counseling to promote health. They closely monitor the mother and baby for abnormal conditions and can institute emergency measures until a physician arrives.
Nurse-midwives also provide gynecologic care including routine physicals and gyn exams, screening and treatment for abnormalities, family planning, adolescent concerns, and menopausal management. The nurse-midwife works in collaboration with a physician, who is also available for consultations and emergencies.
Tiffany Harris was born and raised in Scioto County. She received her B.S.N. from The University of Rio Grande and her M.S.N. in nurse-midwifery from The University of Cincinnati. She did her midwifery training at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell Army Hospitals, University Hospital in Cincinnati, and with Dr. Pettit's practice. Prior to becoming a midwife, she worked as an R.N. in Maternity at S.O.M.C. Tiffany sees patients in the Portsmouth office, the Portsmouth C.A.O. Clinic, and the Waverly Family Health Center.
Health education is an important part of a holistic approach to health care. Our registered nurses are Fonda Lewis and Jodi Dickerson. Our licensed practical nurses are Shelly Harr and Becky Stapleton. They have a major responsibility to provide this teaching in our practice. They teach women about pregnancy and birth, on an individual basis.
Along with the doctors, they visit hospitalized patients, answering questions, explaining surgical procedures, and teaching self-care at home.
We have a wide selection of videotapes and pamphlets available on many health-related topics. If you would like more information on a topic, please ask us. We make every effort to meet your education needs.
Preconceptional (Pre-pregnancy) Planning
Pregnancy, although exciting, is a very physically and emotionally demanding experience for most women. We encourage all women to prepare for this event prior to its occurrence. A healthful diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, general health and emotional status prior to pregnancy can greatly influence both baby and mother. We recommend that women considering pregnancy make an appointment with one of the nurse-midwives. They will review your health history and obtain necessary blood work. They will also discuss with you and your husband ways in which you can help increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
As soon as you suspect you are pregnant, please call our office for an appointment. Healthy babies depend on healthy mothers. Our registered nurses will review your health and discuss such things as proper nutrition, exercise, medication use, and normal and abnormal physical discomforts during pregnancy..
Our doctors and nurse-midwives will see you frequently throughout your pregnancy. Ultrasounds, if needed, and most tests are done in our office. We also have the capability to do amniocentesis. Perinatologists, physicians who specialize in the treatment of problem pregnancies, are available in Columbus for women who need genetic counseling, specialized fetal diagnostic testing, or high-risk prenatal care.
We believe that the woman and her family should be as involved as possible in the childbirth process. We encourage you to talk with us about your expectations for labor and delivery. Southern Ohio Medical Center offers birth rooms where you labor, deliver and recover in the same room with the infant and your support person. A wide variety of anesthesia alternatives are available, including epidural anesthetics as well as natural childbirth. If a cesarean section should be necessary, it can be performed in the delivery suite with the support person being present in most cases. We have the most modern technology available to help with the labor and delivery process.
Preventing pregnancy is a goal for many couples. We, along with our nurses, will be happy to discuss your birth control choices and options with you and teach you the proper techniques you may need to avoid pregnancy. We prescribe birth control pills and fit patients with IUDs, cervical caps, and diaphragms. Our nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives are trained in the use of cervical caps. We also administer Depo-Provera injections, which are good for 3 months after each injection. If you have any questions regarding a contraceptive method, please feel free to discuss them with us.
We are committed to addressing the health concerns of teenagers. If you are a young woman with questions or concerns about health or sexuality issues, ask Fonda Lewis, R.N.C., about this program.
Leasa Mowery is a clinical counselor with a Master's Degree in Agency Counseling from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. She has worked at the local mental health center as a child and family therapist and in private practice with a local psychiatrist. She is married to Steve Mowery and they have two grown sons. She specializes in counseling for depression, anxiety, as well as parenting issues.
Emergency Room Visits
The emergency room was designed for treatment of life-threatening problems such as heart attacks, uncontrolled bleeding, uncontrollable pain or life-threatening infections. The emergency room was never intended to be a walk-in clinic and many insurance companies refuse to pay for an emergency room visit unless a life-threatening emergency is present. It is much quicker to be seen in our office and usually costs at least one-half as much as it would cost to be seen in the emergency room.
How to Reach Us in an Emergency
We provide Emergency Care to our patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you experience an emergency, call our office number 740-354-1434 and explain to the person who answers the phone the nature of your problem. In order to provide this emergency service, we utilize a large number of highly skilled people to answer our emergency calls. You may speak with a nurse-midwife, a resident physician, or answering service personnel. However, be assured that Dr. Pettit is always available to handle complicated problems. If you have questions after speaking to the person who answers the phone, feel free to request to speak with the doctor.
If you experience a life-threatening problem, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room, but please call our office number before you go so that we may be alerted to your problem.
Smoking is not allowed in our office or on the grounds of Southern Ohio Medical Center. We encourage all patients to stop smoking since this has been shown to be a major factor in the cause of lung cancer and heart disease. Fonda Lewis, R.N. is a certified smoking cessation clinic leader through the American Lung Association. Several of our employees are trained in smoking cessation techniques. They will be happy to talk with you about the benefits of stopping smoking. If you would like to talk with us about stopping smoking, you may make an appointment to do so.
We have ample free parking available by our office. We also have a handicapped entrance for wheelchair and ambulance patients.
We are skilled at performing a variety of surgical procedures for disease detection and treatment. Tubal ligation, hysterectomy, D&C, laparoscopy, and bladder repair are just a few of the more commonly performed operations we do on a daily basis. We also perform laser surgery and microsurgery. If surgery is an option for you, please feel free to ask questions and obtain as much information about your case as possible. We understand that surgery is a very frightening thought for most people. Your physical and emotional comfort and well being are our main concern.
Should you have a serious health problem requiring a surgical procedure that we do not routinely perform in Portsmouth, we will refer you without hesitation to a specialist who is able to perform this surgery with the best possible outcome. For example, women who have come to see us with advanced cancer of the ovaries may be referred to a gynecologic oncologist (a doctor who treats only women with cancers of the reproductive system) in Columbus or Cincinnati.
We DO NOT perform elective abortions. We will refer you to Columbus or Cincinnati if you make this choice.
We are interested in infertile couples and have been educated in the latest treatment. In conjunction with an infertility specialist in Columbus, we do a complete evaluation of infertility. Within a six-month period after you begin evaluation in our office we should be able to pinpoint the cause of your problem. Because we work closely with infertility subspecialists, advanced infertility treatment is available, including in vitro fertilization if necessary, and a minimum amount of time is spent traveling out of town.
If you experience problems with sexual intercourse, we are trained to help. A mix of medical treatments and counseling is often appropriate. Please feel free to discuss this with either of us or with one of the registered nurses.
In order to keep patient costs to a minimum we encourage patients to pay for services rendered at the time of the office visit if possible, except in the case of bills covered by insurance. We will be happy to discuss any fees with you. We accept Medicare assignments and participate in all insurance and some HMO programs. We are happy to arrange payment plans with you. We have trained staff members who can help you with this.
We are extremely interested in hearing from you about what you think of our practice. We are always trying to improve the care we render our patients. Constructive criticism, as well as praise is always welcome. If you do not feel comfortable sharing this with us in person, please give us a call or drop a note in the mail. Our goal is to provide you with excellent healthcare!