Nurses Spotlight: Erin Peters

In a previous interview, Nancy Moughrabi, FNP-BC nominated Erin Peters to participate in Fitsi’s Nurses Spotlight series. She is a hospital based nurse practitioner, caring for pediatric general surgery patients at Children’s at Erlanger. She shares what her ideal pediatric hospital environment would look like and how to create a great patient experience for both pediatric patients and parents.

Erin graduated with a BSN from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and an MSN from The University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC). She has registered nursing experience in adult ICU, neonatal ICU, and PACU.  She has worked as a NP in pediatric primary care and has been a hospital based NP with the pediatric surgeons of University Surgical Associates since 2010.

Along with her husband, Jason, Erin  is the proud parent of two children, Natalie and Elijah.

1.  Why did you choose to become a nurse?

I’ve said I wanted to be a nurse from the age of four. In college I saw it as a practical option; I could finish the program relatively quickly and have the promise of a job after graduation. I’m not sure that’s the best reason to make a decision, but it really is a great fit for me. I love both the science and the art of the nursing, and no two days are ever the same.

 I treat my patients the same way I would want someone to treat my kids.

2. How do you try and create a great patient experience?

I treat my patients the same way I would want someone to treat my kids. Being in the hospital is stressful, at best, and is often terrifying for pediatric patients and parents. We all respond to stress and fear differently. It may take time, but being able to reassure patients and parents that I am advocating for them as if they were my own, helps alleviate some of that stress and fear.

3. What do you think are some of the most challenging aspects of meeting patients’ needs?

Lack of continuity of care. That takes on so many forms, but poor communication is often the cause.

4.  How would you describe the ideal hospital environment?

The ideal children’s hospital wouldn’t look like a hospital at all. It would feel welcoming and have plenty of public spaces for patients (playrooms, gardens, etc). It would be spotless and have plenty of natural light. Parents would have a place to sleep and rocking chairs would be available for every baby and toddler room.

Care providers at every level would have confidence and pride in all they do. Support for a balanced work and home life and continued education would be priorities. All of this would cultivate a positive and safe environment for care.

I admire nurses who balance work and motherhood.

5. Who are your career role models and why?

I have many people I look up to.  At this point in my life with babies of my own, I admire nurses who balance work and motherhood. I am fortunate to be surrounded by encouraging moms.

All of my role models, are constantly learning, growing and evolving. They all give all they have to each and every challenge and provide compassionate care. I hope to do the same.

6.  Why do you love being a nurse?

I love being a nurse because I am constantly challenged. I find the science fascinating and am fulfilled by the interpersonal relationships. Kids are so resilient! So many of my patients become my heroes, and it doesn’t get any better than that!