Hello, my name is Amy Stout. I am a Mother, Nurse, wife, sister, aunt, and friend. My path has not been a typical one. I obtained my passion for Patient/Family education because I was a consumer of healthcare for my 2 boys for many years. We have experienced healthcare from the inside. My children, Cullen and Dakota, have a progressive neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. At ages 33 and 31, they have far outlived their estimated lifetimes. With wheelchairs, orthotics, trachs, ventilators, G-buttons, surgeries dominating our lives, we have had many experiences with nurses, CNA's, and doctors and therapists influencing our lives. Many of them became role models for me, and pushed me to place myself in the 'helping role' of nurse educator. I started as a patient education coordinator, doing wounds, ostomies, and education regarding almost any type of "care". I was encouraged by my former boss and reluctantly became a Diabetes Nurse Educator and CDE many years ago. This unlikely match may have been propelled by the loss of my Mother to complications from diabetes as I experienced feelings of helplessness, being many states away while she experienced late complications from diabetes, and the loss of her vision, prior to a life ending stroke. Perhaps I want to help others, the way I could not help her.
My hope is to help, facilitate, and encourage understanding and awareness, and to motivate others to work toward achieving the best health they can, even within the limits of their chronic disease. I hope to influence them to 'feel better', to experience the important things in their lives, and to know that they have someone in their corner, hoping and pushing them to live their "best life". I am a practical person. I have learned, that my role as a Diabetes Nurse, includes listening, providing comfort, and a non-judgmental push to advocate for the best possible outcome. I also know that my role is limited. I respect, honor and allow each individual to make their own choices. I meet them 'where they are'. I provide needed information, illustrations, practical demonstrations, and use of many resources. I encourage change if it's needed, and praise efforts noted, but I recognize I am merely a facilitator. One day I may be the provider that plants the seed that helps the patient think differently about something. Another day, I may be the guide that showed them how to do something they've never done before. Another, I may only provide the water to nourish the idea of a "different way of looking at a problem". Each day, I hope to impact someone's life for the positive. Many days, I feel fortunate. Some days, I weep. This is the life of a Diabetes Nurse name Amy Stout.