The Catalyst Issue 16 | April 2013 - Page 25

“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. —Rosa Garza 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 next patient. “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