A Beautiful Moment in Time

An interview with Hanane Chabainou, CRNP

When patients go to a neurosurgeon, they are often very anxious about what to expect from surgery. Will it be painful? What are the potential side effects? What tests are required? What is the recovery period? As a Nurse Practitioner at a Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, Hanane Chaibainou, CRNP describes the beautiful moments she experiences in her role providing answers to ease patient and caregiver anxiety about neurosurgical procedures.

I spoke with Hanane about her experience working alongside a neurosurgery team with procedures such as MRI-guided focused ultrasound to treat tremors in patients with essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease.

Hanane has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University and a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works with neurosurgeon Dr. Gordon Baltuch as his right-hand woman. In this key role, she is responsible for guiding patients throughout their treatment journey—from the moment they first inquire about their symptoms to diagnosis and treatment through to post-procedure follow up visits.

Hanane explains that at the core of the practice is the belief that it is critical to provide a “human touch throughout the journey” to support and comfort patients. She points out that if neurosurgery isn’t anxiety-provoking enough, many times patients who have tremor-related conditions already live with heightened anxiety.

A multi-disciplinary team is assembled that includes psychologists to manage anxiety, along with nurses, physical therapists, technicians, neurologists, and neurosurgeons that are needed to perform surgery, as well as support patients through rehabilitation after treatment. These experts work together to provide the patient-centric care required for optimal treatment of tremors associated with movement disorders.

Hanane says the quality of care achieved is driven by their philosophy of 3 As: Availability, Affability and Ability. Availability means that the team works around the patient’s schedule, communicating with the patient when the patient is available. Affability refers to their concern for being sensitive to each patient’s individual needs and unique personalities, beyond the medical issues. Ability is demonstrated by the team’s ability to provide expert clinical care for patients with movement disorders.

When I asked Hanane for a favorite anecdote about her experience working with patients undergoing focused ultrasound treatment, she could not pick just one. She said that “each patient experience is unique, and special in their own way. It’s the simple things like drinking a cup of water, putting on make-up, or eating soup that brings patients to tears of joy. They have a renewed sense of self and optimism for the future.”

What was clear to me throughout our conversation was her unwavering dedication to her patients and the team of healthcare providers with whom she works. The role she plays on the team is very meaningful to her and uplifts her own life. It is the reason she works so diligently: to facilitate that beautiful moment when patients realize their lives have profoundly changed for the better.