Courtney Kondos, a board certified clinical nurse specialist for Dakota Family Services in Minot, held a longtime interest in psychiatry and mental health. Kondos specializes in psychiatric assessment, medication management and psychotherapy for a variety of patients and began her work with Dakota Family Services in June.
Kondos works with individuals from children to the elderly, who have a variety of mental health diagnoses.
"I always knew, when I was getting my undergrad (registered nurse) degree at Minot State, that I wanted to pursue my masters. Psychiatry has always been an interest of mine, along with geriatrics. I'm lucky to be able to do both," Kondos said.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN •
Courtney Kondos, board-certified clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric-mental health care for Dakota Family Services, talks about her enjoyment in working in that field.
Shortly after becoming an RN, Kondos began working for Trinity Health's inpatient psychiatric unit. It was during her student clinical hours at the unit and her later time as an RN there that she met Dr. Wayne Martinsen, who introduced her to Dakota Family Services.
"I had a great learning experience with Dr. Martinsen, and I'm glad I got the chance for employment where the people are kind, and they take good care of their patients," Kondos said.
Kondos was born and raised in Minot, and has enjoyed staying close to her family. She credits family support and the support of other professionals in the mental health field for helping her achieve her goals.
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"I've had people encouraging me all the way. The community of mental health providers have offered guidance and knowledge, and they've helped me get where I'm at today," Kondos said.
Kondos always knew she wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field. At age 15, she began work as a nurse's aide.
"I've always been involved in the (healthcare) field, and I've always been somebody who enjoyed relationship building and people-oriented careers," she said.
During her work in the psychiatric unit, Kondos' interest in the psychiatric field grew, and she saw a need for practitioners in the state.
"In my work at the psychiatric unit, as people were being discharged from the hospital, we as nurses were trying to get them into outpatient care. With the shortages, you really saw the need out there. I wanted to help in that way," Kondos said.
In her work for Dakota Family Services, Kondos gathers information about her patients and presents them with treatment options.
"It's (psychiatric assessment) all-encompassing. We look at lots of different aspects - their symptoms, their history of mental health problems and their social history. We look at a lot of different pieces so we can get a picture of the individual as a whole, not just focusing on the symptoms the individual is experiencing at the time," Kondos said.
"I like to offer them (patients) options, and include them in making decisions about their own care. I see myself as a facilitator for that, helping people make their own decisions," she added.
Kondos works with patients at the Dakota Family Services clinic and joins Dr. Martinsen one day a week working at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She's enjoyed helping many individuals on their mental health recovery paths.
"I like helping people achieve their goals, and achieve wellness. I like feeling and seeing the changes that they are looking for in their life. I'm really grateful for the experiences I've had at Dakota Family Services, and with the providers I work with. I'm grateful to be where I'm at, and to be serving people," Kondos said.