I’m a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at The James, specializing in a subset of psychosomatic medicine called psycho-oncology. That means I work with patients who have cancer and also struggle with psychiatric, mental and behavioral conditions. This can include a variety of mental health conditions such as mood, adjustment, anxiety, psychotic and impulse control disorders. It also includes conditions that can be thought of as both psychiatric and medical disorders, such as encephalopathy, catatonia and paraneoplastic syndromes. My work in the hospital setting is vitally important because a person’s mental and emotional state can significantly influence the course of any physical illness, including cancer outcomes.
I came to The James because it represents a work environment that facilitates learning, encourages research and enables a high level of practice. We have cutting-edge resources facilitating truly comprehensive care. I enjoy working with people from multiple medical disciplines and of all experience levels every day, and I’m a better nurse practitioner because of it.
Psychiatric work in a general hospital is rare and under-utilized resource in our healthcare system today. I am proud to provide this service in The James. Advanced medical knowledge of the relationship between the body and the mind is important to understanding what patients need. At the OSUCCC – James, we create patient-centered care plans, focused on caring for the whole person. This means understanding a person’s complex medical needs, social situations, spiritual beliefs and mental and psychiatric health condition kinds of treatment will best help them as an individual.