As luck would have it, Laurie Dertz was the first patient ever transferred directly to a Silver Cross Hospital patient room from its Urgent Care facility in New Lenox.
But the Manhattan woman’s luck actually began hours earlier in February of this year when she met Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner Nikki West, APRN, a highly qualified medical provider who thrives on making sure her patients receive the treatment they need.
“She exemplifies the oaths taken as an R.N.,” said Dertz, 79. “God is a big part of Nikki’s life, as she is one of His angels on earth.”
West makes sure everyone she evaluates at Urgent Care gets the services they need. “I treat each patient as if they were family, with holistic, complete care. And Mrs. Dertz was just so sweet. Her family, too.”
Dertz’s husband Frank and daughter, Mary Davidson, also a nurse, brought her to Urgent Care around 2 p.m. that day. She had fallen in her driveway and injured her ankle badly.
Dertz was sure it was broken. A surgery years ago left her immune system susceptible to bone breaks, and she’s had several since.
West said X-rays confirmed a severe break that would require surgery. She quickly conferred with a surgeon, who agreed Dertz needed an operation, so it was scheduled for the next day.
West ensured Dertz, who had been in Urgent Care for several hours, could be directly admitted to an inpatient room and rest before her surgery the next day, avoiding a stay in the hospital’s Emergency Department first.
“Another example of Nikki’s complete compassion,” Dertz said.
Dertz’s nurse daughter was equally impressed.
“I cannot say enough great things about Nikki and the staff at Silver Cross Urgent Care,” said Davidson. “Nikki truly went above and beyond to keep us informed throughout the entire process, while keeping my Mom safe and pain free.
“As an experienced RN myself, I can tell you she exemplifies everything a strong, competent, compassionate nurse should be and more. I have told many people about the great experience we had and have recommended Silver Cross Urgent Care!”
After becoming a nurse practitioner – who is able to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications – West transferred from the Silver Cross ER to Urgent Care in March 2020.
That was the culmination, up to now, of a career that allowed West to channel the stamina and adrenaline she learned for years as a competitive ice hockey player.
“Working in the ER was amazing,” West said. “I learned so much. I saw tragedies, and I saw miracles. You learn to appreciate life.”