Many thoughts come to mind when contemplating a trip to the hospital. Where should I park? What time is surgery? Will the cafeteria food be good? Fortunately, for patients at Watauga Medical Center, some of these concerns are put at ease thanks in part to a compassionate nurse, an old piano and a sunlit chapel.
Teresa Ransom, LPN ST started working in the Operating Room at Watauga Medical Center in 2001. The job was a dream come true for the Mountain City, Tennessee native who was pleased to return to the area with her husband Roger after he retired from the Air Force. At the hospital, Ransom proudly serves on the Surgical Team. Her responsibilities include preparing instruments prior to surgery via an efficient yet meticulous inspection process.
“I have been on the other side of the [operating room] door before,” said Ransom. “I know what it is like to wait, to worry, to wonder ‘what if’. It is our goal to provide superior patient care in all aspects of surgery, including wait time… as long as we do not compromise our quality of care.”
Despite her love for the operating room, and how rewarding her work is, it can also be stressful.
“We always have sweet treats like chocolate or red velvet cake in our break room to help with stress,” Ransom said with a grin. “However, several years ago, I realized I was snacking too much so I decided that it would be healthier to walk around the hospital during my break instead. That’s when I discovered the piano.”
The dormant piano had served simply as a decorative piece in the hospital chapel for years. On that day, however, the chapel’s stained glass windows provided just enough light to illuminate both the white keys and Ransom’s heart. A few moments later, the self-taught pianist began to play. The music caused both patients and hospital employees to pause and appreciate the unexpected and uplifting sound. Today, more than six years later, Ransom still uses her breaks to de-stress by playing the piano in the chapel. She admits that she never knows who may be listening each day but her hope is to provide some peace and comfort to whoever may need it.
“I think music is a reflection of God and it should be played in a manner that will share His love with others,” said Ransom.
Ransom considers working at Watauga Medical Center a blessing. Whether she is preparing instruments for surgery or playing the keys on the piano… she is grateful for the opportunity to make life better for patients.