Don't Eat Your Young: A Nursing Podcast • episode 209

A Nurse’s View From the Patient’s Side with Rachel Chianakas

Rachel Chianakas had been a nurse for 6 years when she suffered a non-work injury that took away her ability to work at the bedside. She felt that she was gaslighted and demoralized after her initial surgery when her symptoms were not taken seriously. This episode will discuss healthcare from a patient’s perspective and what we can do to help advocate for our patients.

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Rachel Chianakas and Compassionate Care

Rachel Chianakas lost her ability to work as a bedside nurse after a knee injury with a subsequent failed surgery. Following her first surgery, she was made to feel “crazy” and “embarrassed” when she was told that she was fine and was healing normally. With her symptoms continuing, she was losing hope until a complete stranger told her she should seek a second opinion. She did just that and found that her symptoms were real. She finally felt validated.

Through her experience, she has become a fierce patient advocate and now works with low-income patients and assists them in navigating the immensely confusing healthcare system. Rachel is very grateful to the donor of a ligament graft placed in her knee and is able to function because of that selfless act of a stranger. Because of that, she encourages others to become donors and honors those that have donated organs and tissues so that others can continue to live.

Rachel is working to create a website where people can be educated on traversing the healthcare system and wants those that need help to reach out to her. She also would like to work with healthcare providers to educated them in delivering compassionate care to every patient they encounter and always be a patient advocate.

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About Rachel

Rachel Chianakas is a Registered Nurse living in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She obtained her degree from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois and began her career in the Emergency Department where she became passionate about providing both safe and quality care to each and every patient she cared for. Rachel has always taken pride in delivering safe care as a nurse and has helped foster change in her working environments to improve patient safety. After personally experiencing harm during a routine surgical procedure, Rachel’s passion and desire to advocate for patients grew exponentially as she learned firsthand the true impact a surgical error can make on one’s life. Rachel is here to give others a voice who have also been affected by patient harm and believes in the importance of being an advocate for yourself, transparency between healthcare workers and patients, the importance of second opinions, and effective communication amongst healthcare providers.

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Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.