On-site physician and nurse go above and beyond for Basin Electric employee

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Sara Schorsch, registered nurse, and Dr. Tom Kaspari.

Having an on-site physician is a benefit many Basin Electric employees use and enjoy. Not having to pay a $25 co-pay or spend an extra half hour or so driving to and from the doctor’s office saves not only the employee, but the co-op, time and money. But one employee recently experienced how the advantages of having a caring, conscientious doctor and nurse in your building can make a dramatic difference in a person’s health and life.

While the employee who experienced the following story wishes to remain anonymous, she doesn’t want her story to be, because she wants to recognize Dr. Kaspari and “Nurse Sara” Schorsch for going above and beyond the call of duty and for their roles in getting her back to her old, healthy self after a long, painful, and potentially dangerous injury.

Over Labor Day weekend, the employee and her husband decided to take a hike by the Missouri River, but before they left, she asked him to crack her back, which he reluctantly did. She heard a “pop” that wasn’t her back, and while it didn’t hurt much at the time, she did notice her neck tightening up shortly thereafter. Later that day, she started feeling achey, like she was coming down with a cold or the flu. The feeling worsened, and by the end of the weekend she had to roll out of bed, and couldn’t do so without crying out in pain or assistance from her husband.

Concerned, her husband took her to the emergency room. Because of her symptoms, they ran several tests thinking it was her heart. The tests showed her heart was fine and arteries were not blocked, so they instructed her to treat the area with heat.

Four days later, a visible lump developed on her clavicle, so she paid a visit to Dr. Kaspari and Nurse Sara. Trusting that the professionals in the emergency room had provided the best possible advice for treating her injury, he recommended changing from heat to cold therapy. After another week, and a visit to Nurse Sara, she said she would talk to Dr. Kaspari about requesting a copy of the CAT scan to take a closer look at why her clavicle was so sore, and to pinpoint the reason for the lump. After his review, he noted that the muscle had pulled away from the clavicle, and he said it would heal on its own and suggested physical therapy.

A few weeks later, she ran into Dr. Kaspari in Basin Electric’s cafeteria and he noticed the lump was deep red and bigger than it was before. He immediately ordered another CAT scan and was able to get her in the next day. Later that same day – a Friday at 7:30 p.m. – just when she had settled in on her couch with a blanket around her and her cat on her lap, Dr. Kaspari called.

“He said to go back to the hospital – that the CAT scan indicated I had a bone infection. My ESR [erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which detects inflammation associated with infections] was 114 – normal is 10-20. I asked him if I could just go in the morning and he said not to wait. So I went right away.”

She was admitted immediately, and spent the next four days in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics.

While in the hospital, a PIC line was inserted, because she would have to continue the IV antibiotics every day for another six weeks. While she initially thought she would have to go to the hospital to have this done, which would take close to two hours every morning, Nurse Sara offered to do it in Basin Electric’s medical services office, taking the time to coordinate the whole process, from arranging it with the hospital to ordering the necessary supplies and ensuring that her medical insurance provider was aware of situation.

While her husband was instructed on how to do it on the weekends, she spent every weekday morning for the next six weeks with Nurse Sara, who changed the dressing around the PIC line in her arm [where the antibiotics were administered], flushed out the line, and administered the antibiotics. Now, about one month after completing her antibiotic treatment, aside from a scar on her clavicle she is back to her old self again.

“I have always been very healthy – I’ve never been in the hospital, had a broken bone or anything. Unfortunately it took something like this to make me appreciate my health. Shortly after I completed my treatment, I ran into a neighbor who is in the medical field and he informed me that a bone infection so close to my heart was very dangerous and it could have severely compromised my health. I am very lucky that I bumped into Dr. Kaspari in the cafeteria that day, because if I hadn’t, who knows how long I would have waited to go back to the doctor. And if I had, my situation could have been much worse,” she says.

“The fact that Dr. Kaspari and Nurse Sara were here, in this building, to provide attentive and personal healthcare was beyond a blessing. Spending the amount of time that I did with Dr. Kaspari and especially Nurse Sara for five weeks of unbelievable pain and six weeks of antibiotics, I came to appreciate them not just as medical professionals, but much more – as caring, sincere, ‘regular’ folks dedicated to truly helping people. In my opinion, this is the best benefit Basin Electric offers its employees.”

Comments

  1. Ron Jorgenson says:

    I can vouch for having a medical service on site. Had it not been for annual physicals at DGC I never would have found my herititary hemochromatosis. Thank you Dr Kaspari.

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