“If you’re one of my high-risk patients,
then you’ve got my direct number and
you know to show up if you have a problem.
I’ll work you in.”
need, then pulls in the patient, offers
water, takes X-rays, removes dressings,
and sizes up her patients’ shoe quality.
The only times she stands still are
when she’s holding instruments for a
physician during a procedure, glancing
over a call list to check for high-risk
patients, or responding to issues that
can’t wait until the end of the day.
She stops at her desk, under an “I
Heart Bacon” sign, to find a patient’s
cost for a certain skin cream at the
Wal-Mart store in Brenham. “Oh, is
he paying out of pocket?” she asks,
cupping her hand over the receiver.
The medication would cost about $12.
“At least this way, he’ll know what his
budget is when he gets there.”
Then she heads back down the
hallway to clean and reset a room, talk
to a doctor, loads syringes with local
anesthetic, and get started with her
“We’re really running today,” she
says as she speeds off into the waiting
room to help Willie, a patient with
a diabetic foot ulcer that developed
following open-heart surgery and
subsequent bed rest. His ulcer wasn’t
healing well. He needed a stronger, oral
antibiotic instead of a topical cream and
iodine to disinfect the wound.
Ms. Garza faxed the prescription to
her patient’s pharmacy and sent him
home with a small bottle of iodine. “You
do anything that will help a patient
keep up with their care,” she says. “If
I already faxed over a prescription, you
might as well pick it up that day. You
don’t have the chance to lose the paper
or wait a few days.”
She often uses herself as an example
for patients. She points to the picture
on her identification badge, which looks
like a different person: Ms. Garza has
lost 50 pounds since that photo was
taken, and she ran a half marathon to
keep the weight off. But she still enjoys
bacon in moderation. “I try to tell them,
look at me. If I can do it you can do it.
Just do a little bit.”
Podiatrist Joe Martin, DPM, says
“Our patients love and appreciate Rosa,
and I think they all know how important
she is in providing care