Pediatric nurse practitioner Niki Feran loves kids. And ice fishing.
First job? Babysitting, and waitressing at a local pizza place. In both jobs, I learned that l love children and I want to work with kids for the rest of my life.
Free time? I enjoy ice fishing with my wife Tracy and our two dogs, watching our five kids play their many sports, camping and spending time with family and friends. We have five children, ages 14-22. They’re so busy, and so fun. We like to camp all over. We have an Ice Cave – it’s an RV-edition ice house, so we can go all over in all seasons, from ice fishing to summer camping.
Best thing about your work? I get to learn something every day. I’m always trying to learn new things. I also love that families allow me be part of their lives; that’s such an honor. I get to talk with them about their family dynamics and how their medical care can fit in with that, and we develop a plan based on how that goes together.
Best advice you ever got? “The best providers always listen more than they talk.” By listening to a child during a visit, I’ll get almost a full exam based on how they’re moving and talking. I make a point to talk directly with each kid, no matter their age or developmental level. It’s respectful to the child, and the parents. And it builds a relationship with the child, making them feel comfortable by talking at their level, so you’re not just a scary person with a stethoscope.
Why healthcare? I get to help families care for their children during some of the hardest times in their life. I lost my parents at a very young age, so I’ve always wanted to help families who are facing challenges . . . and especially to help kids. Kids are so resilient: they bounce back so much faster than adults do. They don’t dwell on being sick; they just want to be better.
If not healthcare, what would you be doing? Social work. Then I could still help kids and families in the community, and make a difference in their lives.
Niki sees pediatric patients in Northfield, Lakeville and Farmington. Meet Niki.