Stephanie Chancy, MSN, AGNP-C, started at our Neuro Intensive Care Unit more than 20 years ago, where she treated some of the most crticical patients in Duke University Hospital. Three years ago, she transitioned to our stroke team, where she can continue to treat patients with acute medical needs, but also educate stroke patients and their families about how to reduce their risk and transition into home care. For this week’s “Spotlight” interview, Chancy talks to us about how she works with patients and providers to make sure our stroke patients receive the best possible care, the hardest and most enjoyable parts of her job, and staying busy with family, two dogs, and earning her doctorate when she’s not at work.
How long have you been at Duke and our neuroscience units?
I started working at Duke in May of 1998 as a registered nurse in the Neuro ICU. In 2015, I graduated with my Masters in Nursing and then transitioned to the stroke team as a nurse practitioner 2016.
What are your current responsibilities in our neuroscience unit?
As a nurse practitioner on the Stroke Service, I admit patients, assess and treat stroke risk factors, complete a stroke work-up to assess the cause of a stroke, and educate patients and families regarding secondary stroke prevention. Stroke patients that are discharged home receive a transitional care call from one of the NPs on the stroke service to ensure all needs have been met including medications, therapies, and education.
In addition to caring for stroke patients, the NP’s on the stroke team lead a multi-interdisciplinary meeting three times a week to facilitate patient care and coordinate needs for discharge. We provide education sessions for staff members on 4100 and 8W twice a month regarding topics related to stroke, and participate in and lead QI projects.
What does a typical day for you look like?
I usually arrive between 6:45 and 7 a.m. Then, the junior resident, intern, and I receive reports on the stroke patients in the morning from the overnight providers, review charts, pre-round, and then round on all the stroke patients together with the attending physician on service. The rest of the day includes documenting the plan of care, collaborating with nursing staff, therapy, social work and other specialty departments to deliver the best possible care to our patients.
How did you decide to focus on working on patients with stroke?
I felt working with stroke patients as a nurse practitioner was a natural transition for me. Working with stroke patients allows me to utilize the knowledge and experience I acquired working as a Neuro ICU nurse for 18 years at Duke to help them continue their journey to healing beyond the acute care setting.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
One of the most enjoyable things about the work I do is seeing patients improve and recover from stroke. I enjoy talking with stroke patients and their families to discuss strategies to prevent subsequent strokes.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
One of the hardest parts of my job is coordinating care for stroke patients that have no funding, limited funding, or lack of family support and resources.
What’s one thing you wished more patients and their families knew about stroke (or the surrounding medical visit)?
The one thing I wish more people knew about stroke: Time is brain. When experiencing stroke symptoms, the most important thing is getting to the hospital immediately by calling 911. So many patients wait too long to seek care and miss the window for treatment of stroke.
What other passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I love to cook. I have embarked on the keto lifestyle and enjoy making new recipes. I also have an active family that keeps me busy outside of work. I have been married for 19 years this November but have known my husband for 30 years. We met in 1989 in Pittsburgh. Our oldest son is a high-school senior and we have been touring colleges this summer. Our youngest son is a high-school freshman and plays competitive soccer, so we spend an immense amount of time on the soccer field. We also have 3 rescues that keep us entertained, a 10 year-old lab mix, a Siberian Husky and Great Pyrenees, both 2 years old. In addition to all of this fun, I am working on my DNP as well.
Chancy’s sons, above, both attend high school; two of her three dogs pose below.