As part of Bateman Horne Center’s mission, we train upcoming and current medical professionals and researchers to help be a product of change in the medical and scientific fields. This month we hear from Haley Southwick, DNP who recently completed a 330 hour training rotation at BHC for her doctorate of nursing program at the University of Utah College of Nursing.
What led to your clinical rotation at BHC?
In early 2022 I had a clinical rotation with a primary care office. We started seeing patients who had symptoms of headache or fatigue after COVID that were not responding to standard treatment. I began to wonder if there were any providers in the community that had some answers for me. I was pointed to the ECHO sessions hosted monthly through the University of Utah. In the first session I attended, Dr. Bateman was speaking on the post-acute sequela of COVID, and she described every patient I had seen in the office in the last few months. I started attending every ECHO session and I knew if there was an opportunity to learn from the providers at Bateman Horne I would.
What did you learn during your rotation?
I think the better question is what didn’t I learn during my rotation? I spent time with all the providers in the clinic and learned each of their approaches to complex multi-system disease states. Prior to watching the ECHO session, I didn’t know much of ME/CFS. After this rotation, I learned the clinical diagnostic criteria and many ways to approach treatment. Of course, most importantly, pacing pacing pacing! I think the most valuable thing I learned in this clinic is the approach to care for complex and intertwined manifestations of different conditions. ME/CFS is this center puzzle piece that has all these surrounding conditions like POTS, dysautonomia, MCAS, CCI, fibromyalgia, and more. All these conditions are so intermixed with the symptom presentation and helping our patients was truly an art form to experience and learn from.
How do you see your time at BHC influencing the way you approach clinical care in your career?
This rotation has had an incredible lifelong impact on my future career as a provider. Not only has it reinforced how connected disease states are, but it also gave me the opportunity to truly listen to patients. Active listening is always taught when approaching medicine but there are not many fields in health care that allow you the time to do so. Prioritizing the time to listen to patients directly impacted their care and outcomes and I will make this a top priority as I approach practice.
What hopeful words of wisdom can you share with the illness community?
The providers at BHC are so truly passionate about your care and outcomes through life. I think the most important words of wisdom I can give to the illness community is to give yourself grace. Our society is difficult to navigate without a chronic illness and the pressure to survive is constant. Allow yourself grace through life and know that providers are always working to help you through life.
Haley Southwick, DNP
Everyone deserves INFORMED medical care.
Bateman Horne Center and Open Medicine Foundation are partnering to educate healthcare professionals about complex chronic diseases that affect multiple systems. Support our work by donating today!