Tell us about yourself!
My name is Elizabeth Puckett, formally Deutsch (as in ‘Sprechen Sie Deutsch?’), and I am a Registered Nurse at the Richmond, Virginia Center. I was born in northern Illinois about an hour outside of Chicago and moved to Payson, Arizona the day after my 26th birthday. I met my spouse Earl three months after I moved there, got engaged six months later, and married five months after that. A year later our oldest boy, who is 10 now, was born.
Why are you passionate about being a nurse?
Well, I’ve always been a helpful person. I remember that I would always be the first person to volunteer when grade school teachers would ask for help. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do when I grew up. I often thought about being a doctor, but dreams come and go. My aptitude test in high school said I should look in the healthcare field. Eventually, I became a CNA, and then a nurse.
My first year as a nurse, I was unsure of myself and relied on more experienced nurses, but I realized one day that I was making all the right calls and the patients felt like they were in the best care. My passion and knowledge grew, and I was helping so many people. Now I know I was always meant to be a nurse.
What drew you to working with people with eating disorders?
When I saw the job posting for Veritas, I was excited because it felt like what I wanted from my nursing career. There was a brief time in my life when I was restricting, and I feel like my experience helps me understand the patients here better. I understand certain aspects of what they are going through. I feel like I was meant to be here. I was meant to work with people with eating disorders.
Being a bedside nurse is great, but you miss out on so much. You don’t see people meet their longer-term goals beyond the three days you’re with them. Moving into my role at Veritas has allowed me to see my patients’ struggles lessen over time.
What is one thing most people know about you?
Everywhere I go, people eventually find out that my favorite animals are squirrels. I had an obsession with them in high school. Everything had to have squirrels on it. The internet was new then, and there was no Amazon. I made my own jewelry, patches for my backpack, and even a stuffed animal! I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about them as I was in high school, but I still love collecting little things and beam with delight when I see them.
What are you most proud of?
I have had a lot of hardships in my adult life and my days can be challenging for me, but I’m still here. I’m still moving forward.