Thrive by IU Health

October 21, 2021

Patient thanks ED for a job well done

IU Health Arnett Hospital

Patient thanks ED for a job well done

Cathy Perry claims she is old school. If you have done a good job, or a bad job, she is going to let you know. Perry was a security specialist in the US Army. She has taken some psychology courses and she knows how to read people.

“I can bark out orders when I see something wrong,” explained Perry. “But I am always the first to step up and help.”

Perry has had a few careers since retiring from the Army. She had a friend with a dog grooming business and Perry decided that was the career for her. In her spare time, she took some behavioral health classes for pets. She now works as a groomer and is mom to three dogs and one cat with special needs.

She recently ended up in the emergency department thanks to her cat. After grooming her 19-year-old cat, the cat ended up biting her. Perry knows there were so many bacteria issues with cat bites and she had a surgery scheduled for later in the month, so she quickly headed to the emergency department for treatment.

Cathy Perry

Perry shared that she is unfortunately a frequent flyer. She has had cancer, a stroke, joint replacements and several other issues that can cause issues that need immediate attention. She faces each visit with grace just asking the healthcare teams, “Don’t take my voice away.” As she explains that it is important that we all know how to use a certain amount of our voice to advocate for ourselves.

When Perry arrived, she observed that the emergency department was very busy. Every chair was full and you could hear the helicopters landing and taking off. What surprised Perry most was how rude some patients were to those caring for them.

“I understand a person may be in pain and when you are hurting everything seems to take forever. You may wonder why you are not being treated,” shared Perry. “But we need to come together and be patient. I cannot even imagine what the staff has had to endure the past 18 months. Thank them for being there. Don’t call them names.”

Perry said the front desk staff were friendly and professional. She witnessed their kindness and attention to keeping everything clean.

“I keep seeing the heart factor grow at IU Health. I wanted to go to the other patients, to help calm them down and tell them they were at the best place possible, added Perry. “But I was not adequately protected, so I did not. It took a lot of strength to realize it was not my responsibility.”

After some time waiting for her turn to be evaluated, Perry’s name was called. She refused a room, letting the nurse know all she needed was an antibiotic treatment and wound cleaning. Maybe a stitch. Perry told the nurse that she would just sit in a chair that could easily be wiped down. She thought there was absolutely no reason to dirty a room that would then need to be cleaned so she was treated in triage.

Due to the late hour and some of her physical issues, Perry asked the young lady at the front desk if she would watch her walk to her vehicle which was parked a little distance away. That young lady grabbed a wheelchair and took Perry to her vehicle, despite her protest. She shared that it is so comforting when someone reaches out to hold your hand even when they are wearing a rubber glove.

“I thanked her for her kindness. Told her she was doing a great job and to let the other stuff go,” shared Perry. “She just about had tears in her eyes.”

Job well done.

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