Longtime nurse applauds Beebe’s excellent, empathetic care
Renee and Roy Anderson have a lot to be grateful for this year, including the excellent care they received at Beebe Healthcare. Having worked as a nurse for 40 years, Renee knew something was wrong when Roy started experiencing fatigue and shortness of breath. Because Roy is a disabled Vietnam veteran, Renee reached out to the VA Clinic in Georgetown. They assessed Roy's symptoms and confirmed he needed a cardiac consult.
After evaluation and testing, Roy and Renee were referred to Beebe cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Kurt Wehberg to discuss Roy’s need for open-heart surgery. During the first 15 minutes of the appointment, Renee told Dr. Wehberg, “I have a strong faith, and I believe God has brought us to you.” She said Dr. Wehberg smiled with kind eyes (because he was wearing a mask) and said, “I have a strong faith, too. God does the healing; he just uses my hands.”
On Jan. 15, Roy arrived for surgery and was greeted with professionalism and empathy, from the receptionist to all the staff in pre-op. When Dr. Wehberg came to talk to them before the surgery, he said, “We’re going to fix you up, buddy!”
The hardest thing for Renee was seeing Roy wheeled away into surgery. Having worked as a trauma nurse, floor nurse, prison nurse, and nursing director, Renee knew how serious her husband’s surgery was. She went to the waiting room at 7:45 a.m. and expected to wait for four to five hours. So, when Dr. Wehberg appeared at 11 a.m., Renee was concerned, but he said, “All done, and he did great!” Renee broke into tears and said, “I’m glad he did so well,” to which Dr. Wehberg replied, “You didn’t hear me – he did great! There were no complications.”
Renee said, “Dr. Wehberg was not just a surgeon, but someone who really cares.” She credits him with finding the perfect post-op nurse for Roy – Rachel Fields, who became the first of the four ICU nurses that Renee nominated to receive the Daisy Award for Nursing Excellence.
“It was so hard not being able to be with Roy because of the COVID guidelines,” said Renee. “Rachel kept in constant contact with me. I told her I want to know the good and the bad, so when the phone rings I won’t think it’s only a problem.”
Rachel told her that Roy was doing amazingly well, and she should go home, get something to eat and take a nap. “I decided to do what Rachel suggested, and go home and finally get some rest,” said Renee.
Karen Hostedler was Roy’s night nurse; she also kept Renee updated and informed, as well as providing excellent care. She made Renee laugh, which was a welcome relief in spite of the circumstances.
For the next three days, Roy’s day nurse was Tyler Burkhardt, who Renee said took amazing care of her husband and was very professional. Lauren Trapp was the night nurse for the same three days and continued to provide Roy with outstanding care.
Renee said, “I was so reassured that these nurses were there to take care of Roy as well as I would have. I never felt like I was a bother when I called to talk to the nurses about how he was doing. They were always so cheerful and compassionate. These four nurses went above and beyond! They clearly exhibited their passion for nursing in providing excellent care for Roy, as well as providing much-needed supportive care to me. They truly exemplify the qualities of outstanding nurses.”
Renee also said it meant a lot to her that Dr. Wehberg took time from his busy schedule and followed up later that week, inquiring, “How are my two favorite patients doing?”
“All the people who cared for Roy,” Renee said, “exemplify what Beebe stands for, which is caring, professionalism and empathy. I am so proud and honored to know that there are nurses coming up behind me in my retirement who are as caring as I was when I practiced nursing. We are fortunate in this community to have the quality of care that all the doctors and nurses gave to Roy. We are very blessed, and oh, so very thankful!”
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.