Teresa Earhart

Teresa Earhart, RN

Pulmonary Stroke Patient Care Unit
Memorial Hospital - University of Colorado Health
Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States

A 60-year old Filipino man with heart disease was scheduled to have heart surgery the next day. His English was broken but he understood English well. He wanted me to cancel his surgery as he had no insurance to pay for it. Teresa could not convince him that we would take care of it. He was going "home to die". His family could not convince him either.

Teresa contacted representatives from billing and admitting to reassure him of our ability to take care of this as well as contacting the doctor, who came in. He finally agreed to the surgery the next day. After his surgery and the end of Teresa's shift, she went to see him on the other floor. As she entered the room, she was greeted by an entire family from the Phillipines and was introduced as the nurse who saved his life. They all bowed to Teresa, a very humbling experience. He visited Teresa after he was discharged.
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An 80-year old gentleman was admitted with abdominal pain. Alert and oriented, he had a wonderful German wife. Ultrasounds, lab tests, and GI work ups were all negative. The persistent wife told Teresa "something is wrong, he's just not right". Something in her manner made Teresa pursue the issue, as the doctors were going to release him. As they were going into a weekend, the patient has different set of doctors who came up with a different game plan. This included a hida scan. Unfortunately the test was cancelled as not necessary the following Monday morning.

The now frantic wife was asking Teresa if she was able to call the physician and reschedule the test that Monday. Teresa went downstairs with the patient for his hida scan due to his pain level. The hida scan showed his gallbaldder to be completely blocked. They rushed him to surgery that night before the end of Teresa's shift.

The next day the surgeon told Teresa the patient's gallbladder disintegrated in his hands during surgery. The gentleman recovered and was able to see another great grandchild born.