January 2017 – Ashley Bratton

ashleycover

Inspiration and Dedication

Migraines, joint pain, back pain…most of us have experienced one, if not all, of these at some point in time. But for 75 million Americans, pain is far more than an inconvenience. It is a debilitating way of life. In fact, chronic or acute pain is the number one cause of disability in this country.

For the last six years, physicians at the Advanced Pain Institute have helped patients manage their pain and provide relief—often to the extent that they can return to daily activities and restore their quality of life. As the office has grown to address the needs of patients throughout the Northshore, it has done more than expand to six locations. It has also added nurse practitioners to its staff. Ashley Bratton is one of those additions. The first full-time female nurse practitioner at API, Ashley facilitates care and enhances treatment.

Ashley has worked in pain management almost exclusively throughout her career, first as a Nursing Assistant, then as a RN, and now as a NP. “My first experience was in a post-operative setting. I saw the impact I could have on a patient by providing care and relief. The only downside was that I would attend to a patient for such a short time. That’s one of the biggest reasons I pursued the NP program,” she explained. “Being a NP allows me to build relationships with patients, to work with them over the course of their treatment.”

From pre- and post-operative care to assessing the efficacy of medications, Ashley delivers—and enables the physicians to deliver—more personalized care. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of headache and migraine management. Ashley is specially trained in the use of Botox to help alleviate pain associated with chronic headaches or migraines. Botox treatment consists of a 155-unit dose injected into 31 specific sites. Sessions take about 15 minutes and are repeated every three months.

“I am passionate about this treatment option for our patients. I see, first-hand, the incredible benefits it provides,” Ashley said. “Between 75% – 80% of our patients experience relief from Botox. The excitement they feel about returning to even the simplest of activities,  is the highlight of my job.”

Because Ashley performs the Botox procedure independently, it is a more accessible treatment for people who suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. “Patients don’t have to work around the physicians’ busy surgical schedules. Expedited care means expedited relief,” she said.

A native of Hammond, Ashley explained that if she doesn’t know a patient before he or she comes in, she will before the appointment is over. “If I don’t know the patient, I will probably know someone in their family, one of their children or grandchildren. I have met several of my neighbors while at work as well. A lot of times, by the end of the visit, it will be as if we’ve known each other for years!”

Ashley and her husband, Seth, have two “fur babies,” a Weimaraner named Kyleigh Louise and a lab named Goose. They were married two years ago—a year filled with many life milestones that included building and moving into a new house, planning a wedding and honeymoon, and both of them changing jobs. The frenetic pace of that year has slowed down, allowing Ashley time to decorate her home and to host friends and family. “Everyone teases me because I keep adding things to the house,” she said. “But I love it. Visiting antique stores in the area is like a treasure hunt for me. I use chalk paint to bring new life to old pieces. The house definitely is a reflection of my personality.”

Ashley has settled into her career as well. She credits API for giving her the resources and tools to grow. “I love the autonomy I have here. I have the ability to treat and care for patients the way I choose. Of course, I work closely with the physicians in the practice, but I no longer have to rely on them for every little thing. As a RN, I was limited in how I could provide patient care. I really do believe NPs are the new wave of healthcare in the country.”

Explaining that API takes an interventional approach to pain management, she often works in cooperation with other medical disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and mental health. “Chronic pain and depression often go hand in hand. It is important for us to recognize when additional resources are needed. We are most effective when we address the total patient. Medicine is not enough.”

Advanced Pain Institute has partnered with Comprehensive Neurological Solutions for patients with more complex neurological symptoms. “We work as a team to establish the proper diagnosis and treatment plan,” stated Ashley.

She continued, “If you don’t want to have surgery, we can help. If you have already had surgery, but are still experiencing pain, we can help. If you don’t have chronic back pain, but severe episodes of intense pain, we can help. We have a variety of same day procedures that address different pain sources.”

Ashley noted that Advanced Pain Institute has a surgical center adjacent to the Hammond office. “Going in for a surgical procedure can be nerve wracking. We can provide a seamless transition for the patient. Our goal is to provide pain management treatments in a comfortable, convenient and personal environment.”

Migraines, joint pain, back pain…most of us have experienced one, if not all, of these at some point in time. But for 75 million Americans, pain is far more than an inconvenience. It is a debilitating way of life. In fact, chronic or acute pain is the number one cause of disability in this country.

For the last six years, physicians at the Advanced Pain Institute have helped patients manage their pain and provide relief—often to the extent that they can return to daily activities and restore their quality of life. As the office has grown to address the needs of patients throughout the Northshore, it has done more than expand to six locations. It has also added nurse practitioners to its staff. Ashley Bratton is one of those additions. The first full-time female nurse practitioner at API, Ashley facilitates care and enhances treatment.

Ashley has worked in pain management almost exclusively throughout her career, first as a Nursing Assistant, then as a RN, and now as a NP. “My first experience was in a post-operative setting. I saw the impact I could have on a patient by providing care and relief. The only downside was that I would attend to a patient for such a short time. That’s one of the biggest reasons I pursued the NP program,” she explained. “Being a NP allows me to build relationships with patients, to work with them over the course of their treatment.”

From pre- and post-operative care to assessing the efficacy of medications, Ashley delivers—and enables the physicians to deliver—more personalized care. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of headache and migraine management. Ashley is specially trained in the use of Botox to help alleviate pain associated with chronic headaches or migraines. Botox treatment consists of a 155-unit dose injected into 31 specific sites. Sessions take about 15 minutes and are repeated every three months.

“I am passionate about this treatment option for our patients. I see, first-hand, the incredible benefits it provides,” Ashley said. “Between 75% – 80% of our patients experience relief from Botox. The excitement they feel about returning to even the simplest of activities,  is the highlight of my job.”

Because Ashley performs the Botox procedure independently, it is a more accessible treatment for people who suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. “Patients don’t have to work around the physicians’ busy surgical schedules. Expedited care means expedited relief,” she said.

A native of Hammond, Ashley explained that if she doesn’t know a patient before he or she comes in, she will before the appointment is over. “If I don’t know the patient, I will probably know someone in their family, one of their children or grandchildren. I have met several of my neighbors while at work as well. A lot of times, by the end of the visit, it will be as if we’ve known each other for years!”

Ashley and her husband, Seth, have two “fur babies,” a Weimaraner named Kyleigh Louise and a lab named Goose. They were married two years ago—a year filled with many life milestones that included building and moving into a new house, planning a wedding and honeymoon, and both of them changing jobs. The frenetic pace of that year has slowed down, allowing Ashley time to decorate her home and to host friends and family. “Everyone teases me because I keep adding things to the house,” she said. “But I love it. Visiting antique stores in the area is like a treasure hunt for me. I use chalk paint to bring new life to old pieces. The house definitely is a reflection of my personality.”

Ashley has settled into her career as well. She credits API for giving her the resources and tools to grow. “I love the autonomy I have here. I have the ability to treat and care for patients the way I choose. Of course, I work closely with the physicians in the practice, but I no longer have to rely on them for every little thing. As a RN, I was limited in how I could provide patient care. I really do believe NPs are the new wave of healthcare in the country.”

Explaining that API takes an interventional approach to pain management, she often works in cooperation with other medical disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and mental health. “Chronic pain and depression often go hand in hand. It is important for us to recognize when additional resources are needed. We are most effective when we address the total patient. Medicine is not enough.”

Advanced Pain Institute has partnered with Comprehensive Neurological Solutions for patients with more complex neurological symptoms. “We work as a team to establish the proper diagnosis and treatment plan,” stated Ashley.

She continued, “If you don’t want to have surgery, we can help. If you have already had surgery, but are still experiencing pain, we can help. If you don’t have chronic back pain, but severe episodes of intense pain, we can help. We have a variety of same day procedures that address different pain sources.”

Ashley noted that Advanced Pain Institute has a surgical center adjacent to the Hammond office. “Going in for a surgical procedure can be nerve wracking. We can provide a seamless transition for the patient. Our goal is to provide pain management treatments in a comfortable, convenient and personal environment.”

 



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