Elizabeth (“Beth”) Casstevens, FNP-C, originally from North Carolina, has joined the clinical team at Northern Urgent Care, a well-staffed healthcare facility for patients with illnesses and injuries not including not their life in danger. As a family nurse practitioner, Casstevens will diagnose and treat adults and children for a full range of non-emergency conditions – from sinusitis and pneumonia to minor lacerations and fractures.
Being part of the Northern Regional Hospital family is nothing new for Casstevens, 36, who has been nursing in the hospital’s emergency department for the past 10 years. Some of his other work experiences include positions with Surry Medical Extended Care (in an emergency care setting) and Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.
Cassteven’s interest in health care began in her childhood – as she observed a variety of health specialists providing care to her immediate family members. âI watched my grandfather struggle with breathing problems for years – until he died of a heart attack when I was 11,â she said.
Many years later, her father suffered a massive heart attack and, due to complications, remained in hospital for three months. âWe gave her less than a 10% chance of living,â she recalls. “He’s gone from lying on his back and not communicating at all to being able to do whatever he wants now – walk, talk, drive, hunt and all that.”
âHer recovery was beyond a miracle from God,â she added, âand I knew I wanted to help people – just like the doctors, nurses and other specialists who had helped my father. “
Her closer interest in pursuing nursing flared up when she was a student at Surry Central High School and joined the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), a club dedicated to students interested in nursing. careers in the health field. Around this time, Wendy Moser, a registered nurse, HOSA counselor and paramedic teacher, encouraged the teenager to see nursing as her profession of choice. âShe had a great influence on me,â recalls Casstevens, âand always encouraged and supported my decision to become a nurse.â
Casstevens’ 11-year educational journey to become a family nurse practitioner began in 2007, when she enrolled at Surry Community College and graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse. This achievement was followed in regular succession by three further educational steps: an associate degree in nursing from Forsyth Technical Community College in 2009; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Winston-Salem State University in 2012; and, finally, three years ago, a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in family nurse practitioner from the University of the South.
While providing comprehensive nursing care to patients of all ages for the past 13 years, Casstevens has discovered his preference for the hustle and bustle of emergency and emergency care settings. âEither you like the hectic nature of these clinical environments or you don’t like it,â she said. âI like to stay busy and perform well under pressure,â she said. âOften times you can be the first healthcare provider the patient or family sees, so what you do and say can have a big impact on their lives. “
âMy approach to care is to recognize each patient as a whole – so I take the time to listen to them so that I don’t miss things that are important to them,â she explained. âI strive to provide the most effective and compassionate care possible, while educating patients and their families about treatment options. “
At Northern Urgent Care, Casstevens is excited about the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges of seeing a multitude of patients with a wide range of clinical issues. Its ability to diagnose patient problems is enhanced by the facility’s on-site diagnostic capabilities, including x-ray equipment and on-site laboratory.
Casstevens’ in-depth nursing knowledge and positive interactions with patients and colleagues have earned him two special nursing awards: an Award for Excellence in Nursing at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital; and a highly prized nurse of the year award in 2018 from colleagues in the emergency department of the Northern Regional Hospital.
She is a member of several professional organizations and societies, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses Association, and the Emergency Nurse Association.
In addition to volunteering with the American Red Cross and several disaster relief efforts, Casstevens put her nursing skills to good use while on a medical mission to Belize – where she helped other nurses and health professionals to meet the health care needs of local villagers. .
âWe stayed in a set of little huts with a bigger dining area and a bathroom,â she said. âThere was also a clinic, which we ran Monday through Friday, to treat people with multiple conditions – from exams for chronically ill children to some adults. “
When not working or volunteering, Casstevens enjoys participating in outdoor activities with her husband Andrew, a paramedic; their two adopted children (Camden, 3, and Kylie, 20 months); and three active Labrador Retrievers (Drake, Ellie and Gracie). She is also putting the finishing touches on a new home that she and her husband built on her grandparents’ farm.
Northern Emergency Care is open seven days a week / 365 days a year; and can be reached by phone at 336-719-7200, online at www.northernurgentcare.com, or by visiting the clinic, located at 119 Welch Road, Suite A, in Mount Airy.