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‘I Chose the Right Place’: Gretna Woman Trusts Methodist Women’s Hospital for Infection CarePublished: June 30, 2022
Theresa Wagner-Anderson, her husband and her three kids ordered takeout from Olive Garden to celebrate Mother’s Day. But instead of enjoying the meal, Theresa asked her husband to take her to the Emergency Department (ED) at Methodist Women’s Hospital because of what she described as a “scary skin infection.”
Women’s Hospital wasn’t the closest hospital to their home in Gretna, but Theresa knew she wanted to receive care there because of positive reviews from nurse friends and relatives.
“I knew that was the right choice before I even got there,” she said. “And it was reaffirmed over and over again.”
“I Was in Good Hands”
It didn’t take long for Theresa to realize what kind of care she’d be receiving from Methodist.
“They were extremely patient-focused, and I felt like I was in good hands from the minute I arrived.”
After her visit to the ED, Theresa was admitted to the fourth floor of Women’s Hospital with streptococcal cellulitis – or acute strep skin infection.
Theresa said she was quite nervous during her first 24 hours at the hospital, but she credits the Methodist staff, including hospitalist Bret Jones, DO, for helping calm her fears.
“He gave me the time and tried to put my fears at rest, but he also gave me the facts,” Theresa said.
“I think our job is to make the bad situation as good as possible, make her feel comfortable and have her understand the care we’re providing,” Dr. Jones said. “I think my job is to explain what’s going on with her, what we’re doing about it and why – to answer her questions as best as possible.”
Anyone who took care of Theresa during her four-day hospital stay knew she was personable and loved to chat.
“It was kind of like she was my mom, even from the start,” Jessica Rageth, MSN, RN said. “She’d been through all of this stuff, but every time I went into her room, we picked up where we left off in our last conversation.”
Rageth recalled bonding over stories about pedicures as well as the developments and expansion of Gretna, where she also lives.
Ali Chab, BSN, RN, said she had many lively exchanges with Theresa, especially about gardening. The nurse said she had to carve out extra time when visiting Theresa because a quick medication change or general check-in could end up extending to 20 or 30 minutes.
It was time well spent, the recent Nebraska Methodist College graduate said. In her time at Women’s Hospital, Chab has learned that The Meaning of Care means a patient-centered approach, which is why she didn’t mind spending more time with Theresa.
“It’s about getting to truly know the patient so that you can care for them the best that you can,” she said.
Theresa appreciated the extended talks to help her remain calm and pass the time.
“They made my stay comfortable and always made me feel like their priority, even when I droned on forever with small talk.”
More Than Just a Place for Expecting Moms
Theresa didn’t go to Women’s Hospital because she was in labor or experiencing complications related to women’s health. But she remembered hearing stories on the news about Women’s Hospital treating COVID patients, and did her homework before deciding where her husband needed to take her.
Now, more than a month removed from her hospital stay, Theresa can’t stress enough how important it is for people to know about the ED at Women’s Hospital.
“I think it’s critical for people to understand because they’re missing out, especially in west Omaha,” she said.
Theresa would even say that Women’s Hospital is a “well-kept secret.”
As nurses, Rageth and Chab want people to understand what Women’s Hospital has to offer.
“We’re not as big as main campus, but we can still provide a lot of the care and tests that main campus would,” Rageth said. “For me personally, I stress: ‘Go to the nearest ED, even at Women’s. It’s there for a reason.’ And it’s important to know it’s not just to have hysterectomies or to give birth.”
“We’re not just about taking care of postpartum,” Chab said. “We have extensive knowledge in other areas. We’re here to provide that for them and here to help them and their families understand the process of what’s going on.”
Dr. Jones desires for there to be an awareness that patients will receive the same standard of care at Women’s Hospital that they’d expect to receive from Methodist Hospital.
“Patients certainly expect the same level of care, thought and intelligence that they’re going to get at main campus,” Dr. Jones said. “We’re there, we spend just as much time reviewing their charts and are focused on patient care just as we would anywhere else.”
Dr. Jones admits that he didn’t feel that he did anything extraordinary during Theresa’s stay, and that her case was pretty straightforward. But she said she “can’t rave enough about the staff at Methodist Women’s Hospital.”
“I would recommend Women’s to anyone,” Theresa said. “These wonderful men and women are a tribute to their professions. In a world where kindness and customer service are increasingly lost, the staff at Women’s Hospital stand out. They set a high bar!”
Although she can’t recall a specific moment that stood out above the rest during her stay, she says there are many things that confirmed her decision to choose Methodist Women’s Hospital.
“It was more just the compounded experience,” Theresa said. “Not one big thing, but a lot of little things that just kept reinforcing that I chose the right place.”
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