Meet the Expert: Paytra Stein, MSN, RN
Paytra Stein has been with Mayo Clinic for 28 years. Now a nursing education specialist, she began her career as a patient care technician, transitioning to the Mayo Clinic liver transplant unit in February 1998 when the program launched in Florida. "My favorite part of transplant is educating patients and nurses about how to care for the gift that they have been given," she says.
We asked Paytra a few questions so you could get to know her and become familiar with the duties of a nursing education specialist.
Why did you choose this area of expertise? How did you get into nursing and education?
I have always been interested in helping others and my first job at age 16 was a private sitter in a nursing home. It was there that I saw how the nurses were helping the residents and found my calling to be a nurse. I started working for Mayo Clinic in 1994 as a nursing assistant and once I became a Registered Nurse and started precepting, I fell in love with education and empowering others to learn.
Describe your specialty and areas of expertise/primary interest.
My specialty and area of expertise is solid organ transplant. My first experience with organ donation and transplant medicine was when I was 13 years old when my 15-year-old brother became an organ donor after a tragic accident. Mayo Clinic opened the Liver Transplant Unit in 1998 and I felt that as the sister of an organ donor, I could potentially help the patients post-transplant as I had experience on the other end of the transplant spectrum.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
If I was not in nursing, I would be a floral or jewelry designer and aspire to become a master gardener.
Education has changed over the years, but especially after COVID. How has your team adapted to the new normal with remote and online education?
The team utilizes many different modes for patient education including virtual and in-person training and transplant education starts as soon as the patient arrives at Mayo Clinic. Nursing education was provided virtually as well as online learning modules and is pivoting back to traditional in-person learning in combination with online learning modules.
Describe one of your favorite or most rewarding clinical experiences.
Seeing patients come back for visits after receiving the gift of life and living a purposeful, productive life gives great meaning to what we do as transplant professionals. Encouraging patients to write letters to their donor families can help both the recipient and donor family cope with the emotions that come with organ donation and transplantation.
What do you think are some of the most influential trends or findings in educating transplant patients?
Customized care and collaboration between patients, caregivers and transplant teams is crucial to successful transplant outcomes while finding creative ways to educate and support patients to promote self-management and removing barriers to self-care.
In your opinion, what sets Mayo Clinic care apart from other transplant centers?
Mayo Clinic Transplant’s mission is to “provide comprehensive care to all patients with organ failure in a setting which optimizes outcomes and advances new knowledge." Mayo Clinic Transplant professionals utilize cutting edge technology and work hard to be innovative to meet the needs of our patients.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
After COVID, the turnover of staff has been very challenging as we need to ensure new staff uphold the RICH TIES core service values and meeting the needs of our patients.
What are your interests or passions outside of work?
I love spending time with my family and friends travelling, listening to live music, collecting vinyl records, working in my garden and appreciating art.
- Explore Mayo’s Transplant Center.
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- Connect with others in the transplant discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect
- View our transplant toolkits on Mayo Clinic Connect