Christine Tinstman, RN, MSN, MPH
For most families seeking neurology care for their children, the voice of Christine Tinstman, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, is familiar and reassuring. That is certainly true in the case when children have epilepsy or are undergoing diagnostic testing for epilepsy.
“When kids are experiencing seizures, my job is to make sure everything that needs to get done, is done,” says Ms. Tinstman, noting that she tracks lab results, provides prescriptions and offers advice on side effects. “Always, my goal is to get back to the family right away with an answer.”
The answer might be to add a second or third medication. “So we work closely with the family, watching the child’s behavior and checking for side effects, in order to determine what will be effective.”
Ms. Tinstman also coordinates the inpatient monitoring that is used to definitively diagnose epilepsy. “Most kids love it because they have a big TV and games, and the child life specialists come to see them regularly,” she says.
Prior to joining the Pediatric Neurology Division at BMC in 2000, Ms. Tinstman served as Clinical Coordinator of Pediatric Endocrinology and Gastroenterology at Boston Medical Center. “At a certain point I knew that I liked working with pediatric patients in an urban setting,” she says, adding that she first realized she wanted to care for children when serving as a camp nurse in New Hampshire.
Since then, Ms. Tinstman has managed to practice in some far-flung locations, including Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she worked as a nurse practitioner at the American embassy, and Kathmandu, Nepal, where she served as a childbirth educator. In addition to being certified as a family nurse practitioner, she received a master’s degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins University.
Her current position is especially rewarding, she says: “I’m working with phenomenal clinicians—the best ever. And I get to make people feel better, which is why I went into the nursing in the first place.”
Nurse and Care Coordinator – Outpatient Neurology and Epilepsy Programs
BS Nursing, Columbia University (1969)
MSN, New York University (1974)
Master of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University (1990)
Nurse Practitioner Certificate, Regis College, (1998)
Epilepsy and seizure disorders, attention deficit disorders