Although there are many reasons I work with Dr. Tadje, one of the main factors in my decision to work at his practice is his dedication to his patients. When I was getting my master’s degree, I was working at St. Alphonsus as a charge nurse in the Operating Room. Any time there was a level-1 trauma case admitted, they were sent directly to the emergency room. One night, a patient with a level-1 trauma injury to his foot was admitted, and I was paged down to the ER. The patient was in his early 20’s, and his foot had been run over by a commercial lawnmower. This was a very significant injury, and his foot was in really bad condition. On top of that, I found out from some of the other nurses that the patient was going to be getting married within the next couple of days. The orthopedic surgeon who was working in the ER looked at the patient’s x-rays, and determined that the foot wasn’t salvageable, so it, as well as part of his leg, would need to be amputated. When they informed me of this decision, I was so upset because this poor young man was going to lose his foot the day before his wedding. We all felt badly for him, but there didn’t seem to be anything we could do.
Within 15-20 minutes of hearing that he would be losing his leg, I got a call from Dr. Tadje telling us that he was going to come to the ER to try to save the patient’s foot. It turns out that the patient’s family were close friends of Dr. Tadje's, so they had called and asked if there was anything he could do. Dr. Tadje and his family were on their way out of town for a vacation when he received the call. They were on the highway heading out of town, but Dr. Tadje decided to postpone the vacation and head to the ER to help his friend. He showed up at the ER and promptly took the patient to the operating room for surgery. Although it was difficult, he ended up saving the patient’s foot. It’s not a pretty foot, but at least he didn’t have to undergo an amputation. To this day, he is still walking around with a fully functional foot. I felt inspired that Dr. Tadje would put his vacation on hold to help a friend and patient. Seeing his dedication showed that he truly cares about his patients and his practice. I knew I wanted to work with someone who is so committed to putting patients first, which is something I value as well.
Written by: Virginia Jeppesen, NP-C