Finding the right fertility specialist is an important part of any patient’s fertility journey, and while the doctor’s role is often highlighted, it’s the unique relationship of patient and nurse that is truly special.
The role of a fertility nurse is multifaceted. There are days when they must deliver bad news, and exciting days when they get to be the first to offer congratulations. They are the hand holders, cheerleaders, educators, communicators, and support system helping patients navigate their personal fertility journey.
Our Clinical Coordinator is all these things to so many of our patients. Stephanie Harrell has been a fertility nurse at Reach for 12 years. As a fertility patient herself she has firsthand experience and offers patients perspectives from both the clinical side and the patient side of treatment.
- Do you have any areas of particular interest or specialties in fertility? --- I love third party reproduction! It’s such a wonderful gift when someone can help complete or grow families. The process can be complicated, using an egg donor or gestational carrier, but being able to help these patients navigate the process has built some lifelong relationships that are beautiful.
- What are some of the most important things you want to share with patients the first time you meet them? --- You are strong, and you will get through this journey. I try to communicate the importance of having a support system. It doesn’t matter if it’s a partner, friend, family, or online support group but having someone to talk to can make a huge difference.
- What is a common misconception about fertility treatment you hear from patients? --- IVF is the only option that will work. There are so MANY ways our patients can get fertility treatment- some only need low dose medication, some just need a correct diagnosis, some need surgical intervention, sometimes we find it’s the partner that requires our help. There are many ways to help people grow their family and we will walk you through exactly what you need, no patient journey is the same.
- What is something unique about you? Silly but…I hate cold fruit and cold cheese! I don’t have a good explanation as to why, they are just NO for me. Also, even as a fertility nurse, my own journey to motherhood was a major surprise! I am part of the 2% of the population that had one embryo transferred and it SPLIT! I have Mono Di twin girls-proof you can’t always plan everything, but it turns out, they are the best part of my day, every day.