As a nurse, COC professor Tammy Bathke understands the power of proper training and medical advancements in patient care. But for Bathke, attaining optimum health doesn’t end there. “Research shows that people with meaning and purpose have greater success and happiness in all areas of their lives,” she said. It was this insight that led her to “eudaimonic wellbeing,” a core concept of positive functioning that originated with Aristotle.
A nursing professor at COC since 2003, Bathke is currently pursuing a PhD in nursing from the UCLA School of Nursing. She will join a very small group of nurses with doctorate degrees. It is the latest in a series of degrees she has attained, which include a Masters of Science in nursing from CSU Los Angeles; a Bachelor of Science in nursing fr
om Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.; and a Bachelor of Science in biology from UCLA.
“As an integral part of my studies, I am looking to work with young people who suffer from symptoms of PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – using the principles of eudaimonic wellbeing,” she said. She plans to focus her attention 12- to 25-year-olds who are experiencing the effects of PTSD because “brain development during the teen years and early twenties is pivotal, which makes it an ideal time to help them work through the challenges of PTSD while guiding them to discover their meaning and purpose.”
Prior to joining COC Bathke worked in the cardiac unit at Cedars Sinai, during which time she returned to school and her passion for the college environment was reignited. She decided that she could contribute more as a teacher. Like nursing, teaching gives her the chance to connect her research and work experience while guiding aspiring nurse candidates. “I love being able to help people, especially when I’m can address a need and really make a difference in someone’s life,” she noted.
Each time she encounters a former student who is now providing patient care, her decision to join COC’s nursing faculty is reaffirmed.