Living Breathing Medicine Podcast – Unraveling Somatic Symptoms with Christi Davenport

Dr. Cecily Havert and Dr. Natasha Beauvais speak with Christi Davenport, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. Christi has extensive experience working with patients with mental health issues, and she also talks about how her time as a hospital nurse has made her a better nurse practitioner. Since this episode was recorded, Christi finished her certification in Psychiatric Mental Health at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She is starting her own practice in Alexandria, Virginia, called Affinity Health and Wellness.

Episode Highlights:

  • 0:30 – Dr. Cecily Havert introduces Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Christi Davenport, to the show. Dr. Havert shares Christi’s background and teases a story to be told later in the show about a particular patient Christi remembers.
  • 2:07 – 4:01 – Christi tells the story of why she decided to go into medicine, and how a tragic event made being in the hospital difficult and triggering for her, until deciding that the best way to serve others was by going into health care.
  • 4:33 – 6:20 – Dr. Natasha Beauvais asks Christi to share what the interior transition was in deciding to go into health care after finding the hospital triggering.
  • 7:00 – 8:55 – Dr. Havert and Christi discuss how their paths crossed throughout their career, and their shared connection with mental health care.
  • 9:15 – 16:55 – Christi shares the story of one patient she worked with who presented a real challenge – “Part of what was so challenging for us as healthcare providers during this time was that we just didn’t have a good solution.”
  • 17-35 – 20:38 – Dr. Havert asks Christi what she would have done differently, and how her relationship with the patient changed over time.
  • 21:00 – 23:34 – Sometimes, all the patient is looking for is their pain to be validated, no matter the cause. The providers discuss how anxiety and psychosocial issues can play a major role in pain.
  • 23:34 – 29:54 – Dr. Beauvais shares a somatic experience she had while in medical school. “I had this sensation that there was a muscle that was clinched tightly right in my stomach. But I just finished a year of anatomy, I knew that there wasn’t a muscle there!”
  • 30:43 – 32:30 – “Sometimes it’s hard – Because you feel kind of disconnected when you say that I don’t feel anxious, yet your body is still giving you messages that you are. It’s hard to recognize that these physical symptoms are symptoms of anxiety.”
  • 32:32 – 36:49 – Dr. Beauvais shares how after being in medicine for 20 years now, experience has helped shape her approach. She asks Dr. Havert and Christi how time and experience has changed their approach and perspective to being health care providers.
  •  37:48 – 38:29 – “I’m also just thinking about how that works in our outpatient setting, with our nurses, and just how much the care is completed and started by our nurses.”
  • 39:03 – 40:41 – The providers spend time talking about how to provide good care when there is not a definitive answer. “Sometimes, it’s okay to say, “we don’t have an answer yet, and that’s okay.”
  • 40:41 – 42:46 – Learning to accept that sometimes, there isn’t an immediate answer, is part of the maturing process in practicing medicine. The providers discuss the importance of ensuring the patient that even if there isn’t a quick answer, they will still be with them until they figure it out. The patients are never alone.
  • 42:49 – 43:15 – Dr. Havert ends the episode by thanking everyone for their time, and shares where to find resources for more information.

Additional Resources:

Living Breathing Medicine is a podcast from Northern Virginia Family Practice. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. You can also nominate health care providers for future interviews here.

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