Being a Physician’s Assistant allows Stacey Waldron the ability to positively impact patients’ lives. “I don’t know of many other professions where the goal of your job is to make someone’s life better,” she said. “I’m driven by the fact that my work has a direct impact on another person. My success is measured by the positive outcomes my patients have.”
Stacey joined the National Spine and Pain Centers Fredericksburg, VA office in February 2019 after earning a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Previously working as a physical therapist/occupational therapist aide at MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network, Stacey was astonished by the amount of patients she encountered who are in pain. During her clinical rotations, she felt frustrated because the patients’ pain was overshadowed by other chronic conditions that were considered more serious by providers. “Patients, however, are frequently more concerned about their pain because that is what they notice on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “…There are so many avenues for managing pain available to these patients. I want to work in this field because I think that I can help patients improve their chronic conditions by first helping them manage their pain.”
Stacey believes it is important that patients understand that medications are used to make pain manageable. “It is not always possible to make a patient pain free,” she said. “The goal is to help the patient have more control of their life by managing the pain. Discussing this with the patient and setting realistic expectations for treatment outcomes is important. I think it is helpful to know the goal of the patient. Is there something specific they like doing that they cannot do because of the pain? Understanding this can help to determine proper treatment plans.”
When putting together a treatment plan, Stacey wants to understand a patient’s life, personality and culture in order to provide proper care. “There are no two patients that are the same,” she said. “Patients can have similar problems but, in reality, the management could be different for everyone. By understanding their life, together we can better decide which treatments will be most effective in lessening their pain.”
Away from the office, Stacey can be found reading, hiking, making things and refinishing furniture. “I really enjoy working with my hands,” she said. “When I refinish furniture, I love to see the before and after. It is such a fun experience. I love to see things I can create.”
Fredericksburg, VA Office
411 Park Hill Drive, Suite B Fredericksburg, VA 22401