Brenda Knowles first joined Erlanger Health System as a nurse tech in 2008, when she was still in nursing school. “I’ve continued my entire career at Erlanger, including my transition into a nurse practitioner role with the neurology department in 2016,” she shares. “I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else or working with a different specialty!” While she doesn’t always get to meet her patients under the best circumstances – “Typically, it’s the worst day of their life when they meet me in the hospital,” she says – Knowles’ goal is to make them feel as comfortable as possible. “I want my patients to know that I am there to help them, as well as their family, while they are going through this time,” she says.
“Nursing is a wonderful career to give back to others during their most difficult times.”
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your profession?
I have recently transitioned from almost six years of inpatient neurology, where I worked as a part of the stroke team as well as rounding on general neurology patients, to outpatient neurology. I’m now seeing patients who are following up from their hospital visits for strokes, TIA, or seizures.
2. What do you love most about your profession?
I love seeing the difference we can make, specifically in someone’s quality of life with our acute stroke treatments. I also love educating patients in the steps that they can take to hopefully prevent another stroke.
3. What is your best advice for patients?
Know your risk factors! There are some that we can’t change, like our age, ethnicity, and genetics, but many we can change.
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
I feel like I am a very compassionate person. I do my best to alleviate my patients’ fears while doing what I can to help them.
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?
Along with compassion, I provide a little bit of tough love. I can educate and prescribe appropriate medications all day long, but unless our patients take some self-initiative, they may continue to have future health emergencies such as repeat strokes or even seizures.
Special Promotional Section