Congratulations, it is an Honor to Feature
Jenna Crockett, PA-C
Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine
Jenna Crockett loves to solve problems, which in her professional life is all about helping resolve often-debilitating knee and hip pain in her patients.
She also loves to listen.
“Making sure that patients feel heard is the most important thing I do,” says Crockett, a Physician Assistant at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine (HROSM). “They deserve to know someone is on their side throughout treatment.”
Crockett has worked with Anthony Carter, MD, FAAOS, a specialist and pioneer in total knee and hip replacements for nearly nine years. She and a second PA rotate between caring for Dr. Carter’s patients in the clinic and assisting him in the operating room.
During office appointments in Newport News, Crockett works to pinpoint the causes of joint pain – not always clear cut or isolated to a single part of the body – and is careful to educate patients on available surgical and non-surgical options.
“When patients are involved in decision-making, they’re more comfortable and confident with whatever path we choose,” she relates. “Some might need support to get mentally ready for surgery; others might just need to vent a little. When you’re in pain, everything can seem more overwhelming and frustrating.”
Thankfully, recent medical advances have made total joint procedures much easier on patients. Over the past two years, knee and hip replacements have increasingly been done on an outpatient basis, lowering the risk of hospital-acquired infections and other complications.
“Returning to the home environment sooner is beneficial for our patients’ physical and mental well-being,” Crockett notes. “People tend to be more relaxed, optimistic and motivated to get up and move around after surgery, which is essential to healing.”
A native of Carrollton, Va., Crockett graduated from Smithfield High School and attended The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk as a contemporary dance specialist. She majored in Neuroscience and minored in Dance at the College of William & Mary.
As an undergraduate at W&M, Crockett began working as an emergency room scribe at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. There, she met PAs who shared the advantages of their career path, including a shorter training period, greater flexibility to explore different specialties and, often, extra time with patients during appointments.
“It was immediately clear to me that PAs played a very important role in health care,” she recalls. “That has only increased over the years.”
After earning a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2012, Crockett worked as an emergency room PA for a year. The position taught her to handle a wide variety of cases in patients of all ages.
Crockett took a chance and switched specialties when a former EVMS classmate told her about a PA opening at HROSM. She soon discovered orthopaedics was a perfect fit.
“I had always liked being involved in surgery and procedures, and to me, a major appeal of medicine is figuring out how to fix whatever is wrong,” she explains. “Whether it’s a simple or complex issue, my brain always jumps to, ‘What can I do to make this better?’ Finding answers is really rewarding.”
Crockett, who is married and has a 12-year-old stepdaughter, credits Dr. Carter with patiently teaching her about orthopaedic cases in her early days with HROSM. Today, she is grateful for the rapport they have built over what will soon be a decade of partnership.
“I was lucky to land a great job,” she says. “It’s wonderful to watch patients find relief from their pain and get their lives back.”
We are grateful for local Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants who serve our healthcare community! Please let us know if there is an NP or PA you would like to see honored in a future edition. firstname.lastname@example.org