Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown
Stacey Brown, RN, joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on the role of nursing in eating disorder care. She begins by acknowledging the lack of eating disorder education and training in nursing programs; it wasn’t until she began interacting with patients that she fully understood the impact of these illnesses on every body system. Stacey’s experiences have set her on a mission to speak to nurses at all levels about best practices when caring for patients with eating disorders, including developing strong emotional intelligence. She highlights the importance of every care team member and multidisciplinary collaboration to meet a patient’s full range of needs. The episode concludes with Stacey’s words of wisdom for the next generation of eating disorder nurses.
Stacey serves as the Vice President of Nursing at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative. Stacey practiced as an Intensive Care/Critical Care nurse, ER nurse, and Cardiac Cath Lab nurse for several years prior to working in the field of mental health. Since transitioning her nursing care into the world of eating disorders in 2007, Stacey has worked extensively in areas of utilization review management, nursing administration, and consulting. She is passionate about her work and loves helping nursing teams learn how to develop strong clinical and critical thinking skills that are based on best and safe practices.
- The power of a multidisciplinary, collaborative treatment team
- The importance of family/support system education
- How Stacey educates professionals in the field to challenge bias
- How eating disorder nurses help at all levels of care to ensure patients get the medical and emotional care they need
- How nurses can hold space for sitting with difficult emotions
In Stacey’s words:
- On the nurse’s role in collaborative eating disorder care: “In our setting, one of the most important things that we learn [is] how to validate and also to redirect the client to the appropriate caregiver. It’s not my role to be their therapist. It’s not my role to overstep and try to be their dietitian. My role is to be their nurse, to address their medical needs, to be validating and listening and compassionate, but also know when to redirect back to other care providers.”
- On her passion for eating disorder advocacy: “We have fought tooth and nail as a country to really provide effective treatment and coverage for people who have mental illness and eating disorders. And that is one of the things that drives me. That is not fair. That is not right. And I will stand up and advocate for people who are not treated appropriately. That’s what drives my passion.”
- On her advice to clinicians with lived eating disorder experience: “If it’s your personal experience with something that is driving your passion—awesome… That passion is going to take you a long way. And: Remember to separate yourself enough so that you are letting the client or the patient have their experience. Not your experience.”
Learn more about Veritas Collaborative online or by calling 1-855-875-5812.
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Peace Meal is a podcast hosted by The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative that covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking.
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Tags: Eating Disorder Recovery, For Providers, Podcast, Research