Staff Spotlight, Elaina Williams
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Elaina Williams (she/her), and I have been a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Veritas Collaborative’s Child and Adolescent Treatment Center in Durham, NC, for over six years.
What does a typical day look like for you at Veritas Collaborative?
I get to come to work to see my patients for medical visits each day. The more acute patients (meaning more medically unstable) within inpatient care are seen by me or my team daily. I see the patients within lower levels of care weekly and as needed for medical complaints (like ear pain, rashes, throat discomfort, etc.). I usually chat with the patients for a little while about medical concerns, as well as what they are struggling with during treatment (I love chatting!). After we chat, I do an exam and enter any appropriate medical orders. I also get to collaborate with other team members in setting goals and individualizing care so that we can together help patients heal and move toward discharge from treatment!
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
Working with an amazing team! I truly love my team members and feel so supported to discuss medical concerns if need be.
What one thing do you wish everyone knew about eating disorders?
I wish everyone knew the impact their conversations have on children. I’ve heard many young children talk about weight, “healthy” foods, dieting, and body shame (directed at themselves and others). At young ages, this mindset often comes from others—usually unintentionally—who engage in body shaming, diet talk, and self-deprecating humor. I so wish people understood the impact this can have on a child’s mental health, both now and in the future.
What piece of advice would you give to those struggling with eating disorders?
So much of who we are and who we become revolves around who influences our lives. To the best of your ability, surround yourself with people who talk positively about themselves and others. Negative talk can cause you to question how you see yourself. That kind of self-doubt has no place in eating disorder recovery. I believe in a creator who made each of us beautiful and unique. Find people who also choose to seek and find the beauty in themselves, others, and life.
If you could do another job just for a day, what would it be?
I always wanted to be (but never was) a barista! I think coffee and tea bring many people such joy, so what fun to be the person bringing them that joyful moment in their day! I was an ice cream scooper/shift manager at a Bruster’s Ice Cream for a while though. I think I was able to bring people joy in that role!