Get to Know our December Clinician of the Month, Cynthia Bratcher!

Posted on Tue, Dec 09, 2014
Get to Know our December Clinician of the Month, Cynthia Bratcher!

Cynthia M. Bratcher, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CEN has been working as an emergency medicine professional for 25 years. Her commitment to care extends beyond the healthcare facility — it’s her passion. She teaches ACLS, PALS, and TNCC and her special interest in trauma led her to author two chapters of the Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum provider manual, 7th edition.

Not only does she share her experience and expertise in print and in the workplace, but she also contributes to EmCare’s blog, where she shares her unique insight on the most pressing issues she sees in the emergency department.

Read below to find out what spending 25 years in healthcare has taught Cynthia and what one new process she believes will be the future of healthcare.

The one piece of healthcare advice I wish everyone would follow is: to take steps to decrease modifiable risk factors that will improve the quality of life. Many of our most lethal diseases have modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors for hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease are obesity and smoking, but obesity rates are rising and Americans continue to smoke at alarming rates. The hypertension that results in a stroke, the diabetes that results in kidney failure and the heart disease that causes a fatal myocardial infarction could be eliminated in so many patients’ lives by maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. Patient engagement is the key factor in health promotion and disease prevention, and only by having patients partner in their health and decreasing modifiable risk factors can patient outcomes and quality of life improve. 

Sometimes it’s the patients that teach the care giver. One lesson a patient has taught me was: that they expect me to have clinical skill but at the most critical moments of their lives they will remember the small acts of comfort and kindness. I had just placed a cool cloth on the head of a patient who was having a myocardial infarction when he went into a life threatening rhythm and arrested. His son thanked me later because his Dad told him how much I did for him, and I informed his son that there was a team of nurses that were responsible for the successful resuscitation. He told me that the one thing that stood out in his father’s memory was the cool cloth, and he did not remember the other actions of the team. Cool cloths, warm blankets, and an extra pillow all seem like small things to those of us who are not suffering, but to the patient these actions are the care in healthcare.  We are health care professionals and are expected to be clinically astute, but actions that alleviate discomfort are very meaningful. 

RELATED ARTICLE: What’s in a Name? Three Reasons to Stop Calling Us Mid-Level Providers and What to Call Us Instead

What are the most promising tools, technologies, processes that you think will drive the future of healthcare? Electronic medical records are changing how we deliver care to our patients. The ability to have  a patient’s information from all medical providers through electronic medical records, utilizing the information to decrease the need for repetitive tests, and having previous health information can be essential in formulating a plan of care that more rapidly results in healing for the patient.  As these programs are enhanced and integrated, the efficiency of the healthcare team will improve and allow us to provide care to more patients.   

I hope my patients remember me as knowledgeable and compassionate. Many patients seeking care in the emergency setting have nowhere else to seek care, and treating non-urgent illnesses in the emergency department creates a challenge when the demand for care is increasing but our space is not. My role as an advanced practice provider is to diagnose and treat their condition, but treating them with respect and kindness is crucial with how the patients view me personally, the healthcare team, and the facility.


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