Therese Collett-Gardere, APRN, CPNP, is a pediatric nurse practitioner with Yale Medicine Pediatric Urology's Bladder & Continence Program who treats children with urological issues. “My favorite part of my job is seeing the children I care for improve and observing how treatment changes families as a whole,” she says. When urinary issues are solved, families can have more normal lives—traveling and enjoying social activities together without stress, embarrassment and worry about wetting “accidents” and leakage.
As a nurse practitioner, she works extensively with children who have voiding dysfunctions and other urologic issues. Examples include dysfunctional elimination syndrome, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urinary tract infections, penile deformities, varicocele, hernias and undescended testicles.
As a researcher, she studies pediatric neurogenic bladder, a condition that occurs when a neurologic condition such as spina bifida causes bladder control issues for children.
“I have helped many children gain continence—both urinary and bowel often improve with treatment—which ultimately is tremendous in regards to their quality of life,” she says. She also has interest in further research on voiding dysfunction and the link with neuropsychiatric conditions. She has published multiple articles on these topics
When a urinary problem requires surgery, Collett-Gardere puts her patients and their parents at ease by sharing her own personal experiences. “My children have been hospitalized and operated on for pediatric conditions,” she says. “I know what it is like to have to have faith in someone else to take care of your child as well as you would. I know what it’s like to have a child go into an operating room and have to trust those that I left my child with. No matter how ‘minor’ a surgery may be to professionals, to that parent, it is major because it is their child,” says Collett-Gardere.
Her love of children is what inspires her work. “I love children,” the clinician says. “I love their innocence and raw truth. I laugh every day at my job.”