Comprehensive Clinical Services, P.C. » Featured, Staff » Davena Beal, APN, PMHNP-BC, DNP

Davena Beal, APN, PMHNP-BC, DNP

davena4 My name is Davena and I just graduated this past August from Rush University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice program. I am so excited to be joining the CCS team as a nurse practitioner! Dr. Martinez was my first preceptor when I began the clinical portion of the program, and I was amazed at his ability to work with so many different populations of patients spanning different cultures, generations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Up until that point in my career, most of my 18 years of experience in psychiatric nursing had been working with children and adolescents in an inpatient setting. The first two years of my career in psychiatry were spent on the Adolescent program at the Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt, and the past sixteen were spent on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit at Rush University Medical Center. It was during my time at Rush that I learned the importance of fostering a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy in patients to create the greatest potential for positive outcomes.
Self-efficacy is achieved through patient education. The patient is the expert on their symptoms and experiences, and the nurse partners with the patient to apply the relevant biopsychosocial concepts to achieve his or her goals. Goals are patient driven, and the nurse respects the patient’s preferences when applying evidence based concepts from pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. Together, the patient and the nurse work as a team to achieve the highest level of patient functioning and life satisfaction possible. The patient learns that they are capable of managing mood swings and self-soothing when experiencing emotional distress by applying Mindfulness techniques, concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and establishing balanced routines to ensure adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition. With a sense of self-efficacy comes a sense of empowerment, independence, and self-esteem. The patient learns that he or she can manage a mental illness while pursuing academic, athletic, and career goals, as well as building meaningful relationships.
I believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor for both patients and clinicians that requires effort and resilience. We are always learning new professional and recreational skills, as well as discovering new insights about ourselves as people. It is our inquisitive nature as humans that keeps our interests forever growing. Having recreational interests as well as professional interests is important regardless of age or occupation. I enjoy long distance running, and have even run a few half marathons in the past. I also enjoy sewing, and have managed to make a few items I can actually wear! As a member of the CCS team, I am looking forward to working with all of you and further developing my skills as a clinician.

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