ANNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to ANNA's monthly member spotlight. ANNA is a vibrant organization because of nurses like you! Your diverse experiences and unique perspectives make us a collective whole that is a masterpiece. We are proud of all the work each of you do.

If you would like to be featured, try using our online community, ANNA Connected. Members are featured in the Member Spotlight based on their engagement in ANNA Connected, so start connecting, talking, and getting to know other ANNA members via ANNA Connected.

Stephanie Elliott, MS, RN, CNN

Director of Community Health Initiatives
Director of Dialysis / Apheresis
Peninsula Regional Medical Center
Salisbury, MD
First State Chapter #134

How long have you been in nursing?

27 years

How long have you been in nephrology?

22 years

Why do you love nephrology?

Nephrology is such an exciting field with so many diverse opportunities. I love the fact that we accompany our patients on their journey, and hopefully, make that journey a much better experience than it would be otherwise. Whether educating a patient with chronic kidney disease on how to slow the disease progression or reassuring a new patient receiving dialysis treatment for the first time, the feeling of joy and gratitude at being able to support a patient during that experience is immeasurable. And nothing compares to seeing your patient receive a successful transplant!

What is your favorite ANNA member benefit?

I love ANNA’s online forum – ANNA Connected. Having a resource of incredibly talented nephrology professionals at our fingertips is so very helpful!

Do you have a favorite patient story?

About 20 years ago, I had a patient who was in his 20s and who had a wife and young son. Due to undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension, the young man ended up on dialysis. He became one of my primary patients. While working with this patient, I researched and noticed that he had a low ejection fraction (EF) on an echocardiogram several months prior; however, I could find no cardiology consult. I brought this to the attention of our medical director, who arranged for a cardiology consult. The cardiologist told my patient that, not only could he not be cleared for a kidney transplant due to low EF and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), but he was probably going to require a heart transplant. Again, this patient was only in his 20s. I worked with the patient to monitor his fluid intake and take his medications as prescribed. I showed him tricks for being compliant with fluid and had his phosphate binder changed to one that he would take. I asked the medical director to prescribe antidepressants for the patient since he had shown signs of depression with suicidal ideation. The patient began to be active, lift weights, and follow his diet. His monthly labs improved significantly, and his intradialytic weight gains drastically improved. Eventually, this patient’s EF improved and he was able to receive a kidney transplant. The transplant lasted for several years. He is currently back on dialysis, but he is alive and has seen his son become a grown man.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of nursing?

I love to research genealogy, and I love to go antiquing. I am a history buff and like to visit battlefields and historic buildings. I also love animals!

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

I am a crazy cat lady – not necessarily by choice, but the cats always seem to know where to come to be loved. I always have quite a herd of cats.