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Pediatric Emergency & Nurse Education
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ElizabethStoneRN specializes in Pediatric Emergency & Nurse Education.

Hello! I'm a staff nurse in my state's first pediatric emergency department, and also work as a clinical instructor for a BSN program. While "little people" are the patients whom I most love caring for, I also enjoy caring for the grown ups with my nursing students! In addition, I love to write professionally, especially when I have the opportunity to teach others by telling real stories from my nursing practice. My clinical expertise is in pediatric triage and assessment. I also am very involved with my professional organization, the Emergency Nurses Organization.

ElizabethStoneRN's Latest Activity

  1. ElizabethStoneRN

    Skilled Connections...the Heart of Nursing

    Oh I wish I did! I tried to find it. I will continue to try and if I do I'll post it as a reply to your comment so you get it
  2. ElizabethStoneRN

    Skilled Connections...the Heart of Nursing

    I totally agree- manual skills are necessary and we as instructors have to really work to seek out opportunities to ensure that our students get enough of these. the art of nursing, however- the soft skills that include communication (with patients and peers), teamwork, etc...these can be more difficult to teach than those manual skills, esp when they aren't innate to the student- thanks for your feedback!
  3. The fall semester is about to begin, and I prepare to take a new group of students into the hospital for their first clinical experience as student nurses. I still recall my first semester as a student nurse. My first clinical instructor was very positive and idealistic; on the first day of class she gave all of us a poem about the meaning of nursing. It was written from the point of view of a military nurse caring for soldiers as if they were her own family. I remember parts of the poem which were particularly meaningful to me. For example, when caring for a patient, this nurse always reminded herself that they were some else's loved one: a husband, father, or son. I liked that analogy and still refer to it today in my patient care and clinical teaching. I placed the poem in the front of my notebook so that I could read it every day in nursing school. One concept I try to communicate to my students from day one is the difference between the art and the science of nursing, and the necessity of cultivating both. Students are sometimes so concerned with the science of nursing: learning hands-on skills, passing medications and researching pathophysiology, that they don't always focus enough on communicating with and connecting with their patient. Simple things like making eye contact, being mindful and focused on their patient, sitting down when talking, and taking care to use language the patient understands all help strengthen the connection they have with their patients. When the patient/nurse connection is stronger, there are many benefits to both patient and nurse. For example, my new nursing students often dread asking patients the questions that are included in a full psychosocial assessment. However, with practice and coaching, the students become more comfortable asking these questions which yield important information regarding a patient's support (or lack of support) at home, social history, health literacy, coping skills, and preferred learning style. Eventually the students realize how valuable this information is, and are often surprised by what they learn, as well as how much they enjoyed the process of obtaining the information. Perceptions change, preconceptions fall by the wayside, and social awareness increases. It is rewarding to see this transformation happen, and as a result, to see the students become more patient-centered in their communication and teaching, ultimately more effective in both. Even their nursing assessments are more accurate, because the patients feel more respected, informed, empowered and safe. They are more likely to tell the students when they have pain, other problems or questions, because the students have earned their trust by demonstrating that they care. Nursing students tend to worry a lot about whether they are getting enough practice inserting foleys, administering medications...practicing all of the "skills" involved in our profession. They don't always realize the value of the more basic things they do for their patients such as simply listening, supporting, empowering, teaching, and caring. Quotes can be useful in driving home concepts in a memorable way. This quote from Maya Angelou is one of my favorite because it helps define the value of the human connection; it can be applied to many professions but I think it is perfect for nursing Some of the richest rewards of my career as a clinical instructor are the moments I observe between my students and their patients.
  4. ElizabethStoneRN

    The Light in Their Eyes

    I loved your article! I also teach Med Surg 1 clinicals and love it for all the same reasons. your article helped get my thoughts organized for the semester that begins this week! thanks :-)
  5. ElizabethStoneRN

    Nursing: I Almost Gave Up...Before I Even Started

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey to nursing! I can really relate to it. And don't give up applying for acute care positions if that is what you want to do- There are certainly advantages to being a little older- some of my students are in their 40's and I notice that they often serve as role models for the other students - they are often more comfortable touching patients, communicating with patients, families and co-workers, and dealing with some of the negative situations that require assertive communication or giving someone else the benefit of the doubt! than some of the younger nurses.
  6. ElizabethStoneRN

    Nursing: I Almost Gave Up...Before I Even Started

    Love you Smmesser! You helped teach me the true meaning of teamwork and backing each other up...from the first clinical experience! Great words of wisdom for nursing students! yes, stick together and stick with it...it's worth it.
  7. ElizabethStoneRN

    Nursing: I Almost Gave Up...Before I Even Started

  8. ElizabethStoneRN

    Nursing: I Almost Gave Up...Before I Even Started

    Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback...I love to hear from readers and am so glad you enjoyed the article.
  9. In 1988, as a teenager in my first year of college, I still suffered from the crippling insecurities of adolescence. Although I always worked hard and made good grades, I sold myself short. Gina, my best friend and college roommate, chose nursing. Her mother was a nurse, so I figured that Gina was a natural fit for the profession. Day by day I observed Gina closely as she came home from school, deeply absorbed in her studies. Every week I looked forward to hearing her animated stories about caring for patients. As a student nurse, Gina was taking on so much responsibility and being challenged in so many ways- intellectually, emotionally, physically. While I envied her, and a part of me wanted so badly to walk in her shoes, a little voice inside my head insisted I wasn't good enough. That little voice convinced me that there was no way I could give someone a shot...or clean up an incontinent patient, or, worst of all... deal with a patient dying. So, I decided to earn a degree in business administration. In college I had the opportunity to take a semester off to work full time as an intern at a technology firm, earning college credit plus a generous wage. The work was interesting, the money was good, and the employees I worked with were engaged. However despite the positive environment, during that semester it hit me: if I continued on the current path, I was very likely to have a "desk job" for the rest of my working life. Even if I were to find a career which allowed me to move around a bit, the goal of my work would likely be to make a company more profitable. While this may be exciting and motivating to many, it was depressing to me. I felt doomed, and realized I had to do something quickly to re-route my future. I needed to find a career which allowed me to work to benefit people, not corporations. A career rich with intrinsic rewards which would keep me motivated and interested, and actually wanting to go to work for the next 30 or 40 years. By the last semester of college, armed with this realization, a little additional life experience and a lot more confidence, I decided that I was going to become a nurse. Nursing was exactly what I wanted to do, but didn't have guts to pursue until I was 21. I graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, moved back to my home town, got a job, then went to a community college for four years, part time, to earn an Associate's Degree in Nursing. From the minute I began the program, I knew I had made the right decision. For the first time ever, every class fascinated me. The "work" of patient care was more rewarding than any job I had ever had or could imagine having, and I realized that nursing was a dynamic, stimulating career. I couldn't wait to be a "real nurse". The four years of nursing school flew by. Almost 20 years later, the learning continues and the rewards of the profession are endless. There have been plenty of bumps in the road, but none that have made me even consider taking another path. Instead, nursing has given me the opportunity to walk many different paths at the same time, and see new scenery every day. I have even learned to give shots, clean up poop, and deal with death. In fact, some of the most rewarding moments I've had as a nurse have been in the midst of very challenging or sad situations. Being able to find the rewards in these moments has been the key to my resiliency and is the main "skill" I try to teach my nursing students. I think this "skill" will probably benefit them more as nursing students and later as "real nurses", than any other skill. Currently I work as a clinical instructor for new nursing students, a staff nurse in a Pediatric ER, and write periodically for Allnurses.com. I'm preparing to return to school to earn a PhD in Nursing. Every day that I go to "work", whether it is as a staff nurse or as an educator, I am humbled by the rewards of the profession I chose. Nursing truly is the greatest career in the world. And now I know that I'm good enough.
  10. Thank you for your comments and story! Yes you are right - "bad" preceptors , or ones who eat their young, can be toxic to new nurses. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. Fortunately when nursing Students have preceptors , they also typically have clinical instructors who are assigned to them giving an additional level of protection for the students - and those CIs are supposed to help Ensure that when such toxic situations arise, they are "nipped in the bud" so to speak. More often , there may be a mismatch in personality types or teaching/learning styles - between preceptor a a preceptee- I've found that these types of issues can often be addressed and turned around to be opportunities , with early intervention, open communication and the proper university support. And I agree that nobody should be forced to be a preceptor and that there should be some benefit to the ones who serve in this role! many hospitals offer indirect benefits thorough their clinical ladder programs.
  11. Thank you for your comment, and your concern. Actually I use my real name and pic on purpose bc I'm one of the allnurses,com writers. - so we want our writing to be under our real names, searchable , Etc.
  12. Many nursing students make the transition from regular, group clinical rotations to working one on one with "real nurses", or preceptors, during their senior year. Preceptors put a lot of time, energy and heart into helping teach the students during this formative point in their nursing education. Sometimes the lessons learned are intentional, such as communication or assessment tips. Other lessons occur naturally as the students constantly observe their preceptors in every situation. Some of the most memorable lessons come from the patients the preceptors and students care for together. This list serves as a tribute to preceptors everywhere who dedicate themselves to helping grow the next generation of nurses. "What I learned from my preceptor" Take On More Responsibility This is [usually] the last clinical you will have before you are a RN with your own patients, so don't be afraid to take on a little more responsibility. Your preceptor [should always be] there for you and you should be able to trust that they won't let you take on more than you can handle. Spend Time With Your Patients One of the best things you can do for patients is just spend time with them. A lot of people are lonely, anxious, or just need to verbally process what is happening. If you are safely able to, spend extra time with patients. It allows for ongoing assessment and really takes care of a lot of their psychosocial needs. Learn New Skills As you are learning new skills, verbalize what you are doing and the rationale behind it. It is an extra safety check for you and your preceptor and helps your preceptor to assess your knowledge level. Explaining what you are doing and why also helps patients to be knowledgeable about their care and feel safer with a student. BRING SNACKS! Stuff your pockets with nuts or granola because you frequently do not have a chance to sit down during your shift, and a quick handful of something can save the day. You will think more clearly and will be in a happier mood if you make sure that your body is well nourished. Spend Time With Patients Nearing End-of-Life If you find yourself in a situation with a patient nearing the end of his or her life, you should take the opportunity to spend extra time with this patient. It may be the most emotionally taxing situation you will ever experience; however, if you are there when they take their last breaths, this means more to the patient than you know. At times it may be difficult to process the situation, but you should take advantage of the support and guidance that preceptors provide during your clinical. In the future you will be able to provide the same support to your nursing coworkers if faced with a similar experience. Do The Most Important Things For Your Patient You're not always going to be able to do everything you would like to do for your patient, but you can do the most important things. This will show them you care about them and that they matter. Don't Judge Always try to see the patient's side of the story - don't judge anyone based on the opinions or perceptions of others. Time management Is Important Taking care of patients holistically can be a challenge because time management is so important and is such an influential factor in nursing. Time management is important, but it only takes a few minutes to talk to your patients and find out more about them. Appreciate The Moment When Needed The Most You will have good days and bad days and there will be patients who have good and bad days, but remember you are caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments and you should appreciate that you are a part of that moment when they (patients and families) are vulnerable and need your help. Tell Your Co-Workers Make sure other nurses on the floor know you're precepting and will be graduating soon - a lot of them will let you do different skills for them if they know you want more practice! Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help Be on time, fully assess each patient, ask questions, seek advice when you need help (don't be afraid to ask for help), and document, document, document! Value Your Patients Becoming a nurse means much more than starting IVs, pushing medications, and delegating care. Being a nurse means valuing each patient no matter the circumstance, and building positive relationships with colleagues in order to initiate change and save lives. The above list based upon the contributions of four senior nursing students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill BSN Class of 2015: Jaden Moore, Keoyona Ray, Kimyona Ray, Morgan Springer & Julia Winslow
  13. ElizabethStoneRN

    The Gifts of Nursing

    It is better to give then to receive...those classic words of wisdom ring especially true for those who chose nursing as their profession. Many of the "gifts" of nursing, for me, have actually been moments in time, memories about patients and feelings about certain experiences with them which help remind me why I became a nurse. Others are related to the nursing profession in general- those perks that we all can appreciate. The following are some of the gifts from my career as a pediatric emergency nurse: 1) The adrenaline rush that comes from working with my peers to intervene quickly to help save a critically ill child; the thrill of succeeding. 2) The instant gratification that comes from seeing so many ill and injured children feel better within hours because children are SO resilient. 3) The satisfaction that comes from helping to collect evidence towards the prosecution of sexual offenders and child abusers- and from helping to remove the children from those situations. 4) The laughs that come from impromptu conversations with patients and their families- the happiness I feel from knowing that they feel comfortable enough to have these conversations with me. 5) Educating many parents about how to care for their ill or injured child at home and empowering them to do so. 6) Earning the trust of young children who have been injured and are brought in as pediatric traumas; the sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to reassure them by simply looking into their eyes, holding their hand, and speaking to them gently in terms that they understand. 7) Collaborating with other members of the healthcare team to support bedside presence during multiple codes and at the end of life; helping to advocate for this and facilitate it. Seeing the sense of closure that this brings to families. 😎 Helping to keep a young child alive until her mother could arrive to hold her during her last moments on earth. 9) Giving a newborn baby who was abandoned in a restaurant's bathroom his first bottle, and holding him for several hours after my shift was over. Witnessing the goodness of others who came in to pray for him. Seeing him again later that year with his new family, as a happy and healthy 6-month old. 10) The inspiration from witnessing the strength and love of a family who is losing their young child to cancer yet still is able to experience joy and humor together- learning through them that death is a part of life, even when it happens much too early. 11) The simple joy that comes from being able to hold babies and converse with young children on a regular basis. 12) The flexibility of my schedule- the fact that with every major phase of my working life- from young adulthood, to parenthood, I have had the opportunity to alter my work schedule to meet my family's needs because nursing is a 24/7 profession! 13) The endless options of the nursing profession...I can think of no other career which offers so many options, from clinical practice to research, writing, teaching and consulting. 14) The learning that never ends. There will never be a point at which I know everything there is to know as a nurse, and that's how I like it. I see something interesting and learn something new every week. 15) The sense of pride I feel from being part of a healthcare team which works together to do amazing things for our patients- from helping to heal them, to alleviating their suffering, to advocating for them so that they are safe at home. Being a small part of this is both an honor and a privilege. These gifts remind me that despite all of the giving that nurses do on a regular basis, what we receive in return is far greater. This, to me, is the greatest gift of nursing. Please share some of your gifts as well!
  14. ElizabethStoneRN

    Lessons Learned During Our First Semester Of Clinicals

    Thank you! sure- they meant that there is sometimes confusion regarding what the nursing students can and cannot do / will and will not do with patients. such as a.m. care, vital signs, accu-checks, medications, dressing changes, etc. the nursing students learned the importance of reporting to not only the care nurse, but also the nurse tech (CNA) assigned to their patient- so that everyone was on the same page and understood the division of work for the day. The most common example for us was- the students were supposed to do all accu-checks and vital signs during their shifts. But if they forgot to tell their CNAs that they were doing these things for their assigned patients, the CNAs would do these things before the students had the chance.
  15. ElizabethStoneRN

    7 Things to know BEFORE Sims Lab!

    This is a great article to share with students as they prepare for SIMS- thank you!
  16. This was my first semester as a Clinical Instructor for brand new nursing students during their first clinical rotation. I looked forward to introducing the newbies to the world of nursing through an idealistic, positive lense. I knew that I would have to work hard to keep that lense clean when others threw dirt on it. What I didn't expect was the wisdom that these students would share at the end of their first semester of clinicals. The following is a list of "lessons learned", written by a group of 14 future nurses from the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill, BSN class of 2016. 1 ) Really enjoy your clinical experiences- know that you will gain something from every patient contact. 2 ) Get to know your clinical group. Talk about each other's strengths and challenges early on. We are all good at something! Use your peers as resources. 3 ) Back each other up; work in teams if or when possible. 4 ) Keep your eyes and minds open to wanting to learn, and take advantage of every opportunity. 5 ) Appreciate the value of bed baths. They can make your patient feel a lot better and they also provide a great opportunity for you to assess your patient. 6 ) Form your OWN opinions about every patient- don't make assumptions or listen to labels placed on them by others. 7 ) All touch is important and meaningful- holding a hand, helping with a bath, etc. Don't be afraid to touch your patient. 8 ) Don't expect to know everything. Admit what you don't know or understand. 9 ) Always remember that the patients came to the hospital because they needed help. 10) Don't get too discouraged when you feel a patient has not received adequate care- instead let it MOTIVATE you to provide better care. 11) Don't let negative experiences with other staff get in the way of you caring for your patient- some of the best teachers are those who teach you what NOT to do. 12) Good communication with staff can set the tone for your entire day- make it very clear to both the nurse and the CNA at the beginning of your shifts what you will and will not be doing for your patient. 13) Don't forget to thank anyone and everyone who helps you. 14) Don't assume that just because someone is experienced, they are doing everything correctly. 15) When you are able to do something good for a patient, even if it seems like a hassle, look beyond the "doing" and appreciate the rewards you are receiving by providing your best care for that patient. 16) Keep a sense of humor. Don't be afraid to laugh. 17) Wear comfortable shoes. 18) Don't ever forget that patient have ears. Don't assume they can't hear just because they are medically fragile. Most of them can still hear you, and many of them can still understand you. 19) Don't be afraid to ask a "stupid question"- someone else has that question too. Treat your patients as you would want to be treated, and as you would want your loved ones treated. 20) Start organized and stay organized- create/use a one page time management sheet to collect data throughout your shift- pens with multi colored ink can help too. Look at how different nurses organize their information- create something that works for you. 21) Prepare your patients for what you will do, no matter how simple it is. Tell patients what you are doing, and tell them what to expect. 22) Patients are human beings- remember that- they aren't just diseases or sets of signs and symptoms. 23) Take the time to sit down with your patients. 24) In difficult situations, you don't have to always know what to say. Your presence is what matters. ("Lessons Learned" above created by Ms. Griffin's and Mrs. Valcheff's NUR 364 clinical groups: Leslie C., Madeline D., Gabi D., Jake E., Claire E., Ben G., Ashlyn J., Jessica J., Albert L., Jacqueline M., Katherine R., Angel S., Emily T., and Vanessa V.)