Barb Pelzer

Barb Pelzer

Barb Pelzer, RN

Surgery and Specialty Care
St. Cloud VA Health Care System
St. Cloud, Minnesota
United States
At that point in time, Barb reassured him that God had been listening to his prayers just that he had a different plan in mind for the Veteran.

A Veteran arrived in clinic feeling defeated and physically spent in dealing with his ailing condition.  This Veteran did not want to proceed with the provider’s plan of care which required an inpatient admission for continued IV antibiotic therapy to treat a chronic wound infection in his lower extremity.  The Veteran shared with Barb that he had used up his 21 days of inpatient treatment and had limited funds and could not afford to stay for another admission.  The Veteran voiced sadness surrounding his poor quality of life, wished he would have had his legs amputated years ago, and stated: “I wish God would just take me but he doesn’t listen to my prayers."

Barb took this Veteran aside and reassured him that together they would find an alternate plan of care that would work for him.  Barb coordinated with her resources to include the SSC Provider, Social Worker, and an outside community health agency in which the Veteran was receiving services.  This entire visit lasted approximately three hours.  The outcome of this visit was the Veteran had been set up, through his community Home Health services located closer to his home 100 miles from St. Cloud, a direct admission to his local hospital to receive the care he so desperately needed.

Barb worked with this Veteran to provide a positive experience of care for him in his time of need.  Helping this Veteran to stay independent and maximize his well-being to improve his overall health situation was Barb's priority of the day.  She gave this Veteran hope that brighter days are ahead and shared the message that if he truly adopted a positive attitude with getting better, that come June, he could be standing in his garden doing what brings him joy.  At that point in time, Barb reassured him that God had been listening to his prayers just that he had a different plan in mind for the Veteran.  As the Veteran left with his friend, he voiced gratitude to Barb for taking “all that time” just to see that his needs were addressed.

Barb represents what being a nurse means, stepping into people’s lives and making a difference.