An Interview With BIFMC’s New Nurse Manager, Sue Higgins
“I try my best to help and research to see what is best for the patient in order to help get them what they need to improve their quality of life.”
What is your background in health care, and why did you decide to become a nurse? I was in the RN Critical cardiac unit for 10 years, RN GI for 5yrs, RN Case Manager and Hospice for 8 yrs, and a Roper St. Francis Cardiac Case Manager and Nurse Navigator for Hospitalist Services for 6 yrs. I became a nurse due to the compassion I have for helping others, whether it be the care they receive, to making sure they have what they need once they return home.
How did you learn about BIFMC? While working at Roper St. Francis as Case Manager and Nurse Navigator, I was very much involved in patients discharge and making sure they had follow up appointments and could receive after care. I had a lot of patients come from Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, and I have also tried to set up patients to receive their care at BIFMC.
What is it about BIFMC’s mission that appeals to you personally? Helping people receive care they need and get the medicines to help improve health, regardless of their financial situation or status. It is more about what we can do for the community to serve, and to make sure people are receiving the care they need.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about the uninsured? Why are they an important part of the community to dedicate your time to? Just because someone is uninsured should not mean that they don’t deserve medical care; and it also doesn’t mean they are not working – maybe they just don’t make enough at their current work, or the company doesn’t offer insurance as a benefit. There are resources out there that can help with this community, it is all about taking time to help the people and research to see which program is most beneficial to them and what they might qualify for. I try my best to help and research to see what is best for the patient in order to help get them what they need to improve their quality of life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of the work you do? Seeing someone smile and making that person’s day by giving them the compassion and time to listen. Whether it be listening to a patient talk about their life, or making sure a person has the proper food and nutrition they need, or providing them with the best medical help we can offer – it’s all important.
What advice would you give to those considering volunteering their time or donating to the clinic? It is a wonderful place to be able to give back to the community of people that have been less fortunate. All donations are used to help with our patients that are in need, and we are so grateful. The people that volunteer at BIFMC want to be here and are all compassionate in helping others. It is not a job, It is a calling.
Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, that provides free medical care to eligible patients, just like any family practitioner or internist. The Free Clinic serves uninsured adults living at or below 299 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, James, & Wadmalaw Island or Folly Beach, or serve the Hospitality Industry of Downtown Charleston. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.