Dr. Teabra Swafford realizes that hospitalization is often an uncomfortable situation. That’s why she completes her rounds with a cheerful attitude, eager to lift her newest patients’ anxieties. Dr. Swafford has been practicing with Erlanger Hospitalists for nearly 11 years, and in her role, no two days ever look the same. “When I’m not examining my patients, I’m ordering tests, prescribing medications, working with specialists, or discharging those who are ready to go home,” she shares. “You never know what you’re going to encounter on any given day!” Fortunately, her extensive training in internal medicine has properly prepared her for her line of work, and nothing brings her more joy than lending a helping hand. “When one of my patients says, ‘Thank you for taking care of me’ – that is valued,” Dr. Swafford says.
“I strive to listen, even to what is not being said.”
1. What sets your practice apart?
Our group is comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with a wide variety of experiences and expertise that allows us to treat our diverse population. As hospitalists, we treat patients who are admitted to the hospital and serve as their primary care physicians throughout their hospitalization.
2. What do you love most about your profession?
I enjoy taking a patient’s complex situation and working through the problems in order to ensure a speedy recovery.
3. What is your best advice for patients?
Many of my patients are also caretakers for others, whether parents, children, or friends. I want them to remember that it’s important to take care of yourself as well – this will ultimately help you be a stronger caretaker.
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
Patience, a positive attitude, and empathetic listening.
5. What do you see as the most exciting new development for your profession?
As a specialty, hospital medicine has evolved over the last two decades to include not only caring for patients in the hospital, but also providing other services within a hospital. Hospitalists are both on the frontlines (when taking care of patients) and involved in areas such as leadership, quality, and teaching within a hospital system.
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