Health Care a Passion for New Nurse Practitioner

She was born in Germany to Russian and Uzbek parents and speaks four languages, but for Nargiza (Nora) Aliev, “this area feels like home.”

Nora is Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic’s newest Family Nurse Practitioner. She’s excited about the Clinic and her work here. “I’m very passionate about health care,” she said.

She was born in Germany into a military family and moved a lot during her childhood. Her mother was Russian and her father was from Uzbekistan, once a Soviet republic and now an independent country. She speaks Russian, Uzbek and German as well as English.

She came to the United States at age 18 to attend college. She married Rahmat (Roma) Aliev, who was from Tennessee, and the couple moved here. They live in Sevierville with their four children.  Rahmat fixes hail-damaged cars, traveling to wherever hailstorms hit. “He fixes cars; I fix people,” she laughed.

Nora has an associate’s degree in nursing from Walters State Community College. During her time there as a student, she volunteered at LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville. Next she graduated from East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

She worked in LeConte’s intensive care unit at as an RN for three years before deciding to become a nurse practitioner. She said she reached a point where she wanted to take charge of patient care on her own. She became a FNP after two and a half years’ study at King University.

East Tennessee, which reminds her of parts of Germany, has been her home now for longer than she has lived elsewhere.

Preventive health care is a particular concern of hers. Though many Clinic patients don’t seek medical help until a condition has become acute, Nora sees education as a way to improve their situations. For example, a newly diagnosed diabetic needs to learn and understand the consequences of continuing poor eating habits, such as blindness or amputation. She says the Clinic should welcome patients whatever their situation, and make them comfortable in returning here as needed. The goal should always be to improve the patient’s quality of life, she said.

Nora manages her job and large family by being well-organized, particularly around the children’s schedules. She studied the piano intensively for years in her youth, and she likes to read, but no iPad for her. “I’m an old-school book reader” who likes to feel pages between her fingers, she said.

Broken twisted angle - running sport injury. Male runner touching foot in pain due to sprained ankle.

How to Prevent and Treat Sports Injuries

When it comes to sports injuries, concussions are the 600-pound gorilla everyone is talking about, but sprains and strains are much more common.

Jason Brackins, Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic’s physician assistant, sees common-sense prevention as one way to cut down on sprains, strains and other sports-related problems. His recommendations include:

Sprains and strains: –Warming up is important before participating in any sport. “Stretching is crucial in preventing strains,” he said. If a strain or sprain happens, don’t make it worse by continuing to play. It’s important to avoid reinjury by stopping the activity. If the injury persists, seek medical attention, Jason advised.

Prevention: Athletes should ensure they have plenty of water on hand. “Hydration is an absolute must in the warmer months,” Jason said. So is wearing sunscreen to prevent sun damage. Sunburn can occur even on cloudy days.

Concussions are big news these days, though not as common as sprains and strains. The news emphasis is on football, but concussions can occur in any sport — when two athletes bang heads, for instance. Every high school coach in the state has to take a class on recognizing and treating concussions, Jason said, but that doesn’t mean everyone in charge of a sport – or playing in a pickup game — has had that training.

Seek immediate medical attention for a suspected concussion. “The days of going back into the game have long gone,” Jason said. Re-injury can lead to all kinds of bad long-term consequences for a player’s health. The athlete should not participate in the sport again until a physician has given the OK.

Physicals: High schools mandate physicals for their athletes, but church leagues and other groups may not. If you intend to play regularly it’s a good idea to get a physical, according to Jason.

Risk: Finally, “Every child and parent should know the risk associated with each sport,” he said. That doesn’t mean children should be afraid of sports; there’s some risk involved in every activity in life.