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On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, our surgeons, Dr. Stephen Slade and Dr. Bennett Walton arrive at Summit Ambulatory Surgery Center, located approximately 1 short mile away from our office, ready for surgery day.  Dr. Slade and Dr. Walton perform Cataract Surgery, Implantable Contact lens (ICL) surgery, Pterygium Removal, Lamellar Keratectomy, and any other corneal procedure outside of refractive surgery at Summit. Refractive procedures like LASIK are performed at our laser center located within our office.

Since Slade & Baker Vision’s patient results and patient experiences would not be the same without our colleagues at the surgery center, we wanted to take the opportunity in this blog article to introduce Theresa Nguyen, RN, a phenomenal new addition to Summit Surgery Center.

Theresa is Summit Surgery Center’s Director of Nursing.

Theresa moved to Houston with her family to accept this position at Summit in January of 2020, and before her move to Houston, Theresa began her nursing career in Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated from Georgia State University School of Nursing. Theresa trained as an OR nurse in the Main OR Department at Northside Gwinnett Hospital. She went on to develop her ophthalmology experience in the Day Surgery Department where she worked with several Ophthalmologists on various eye surgery cases.  Looking back, Theresa credits her aunt, a nurse practitioner in California, as her inspiration for nursing school.

“I grew up hearing her stories about helping and taking care of others. I am the oldest of four children of parents who are first generation refugees here in the United States. I grew up taking care of my younger siblings while our parents worked long days to provide for us. Nursing allows me to do what I feel comes naturally to me, helping and taking care of others.”

In her free time, Theresa enjoys cooking, yoga, and exploring her new city of Houston with her husband and son.

We asked Theresa some questions about her job that we wanted to share with our patients:

  • What does the average day look like at Summit Surgery Center?

An average day at Summit starts with my staff and I ensuring all of our equipment is operational and safe for the care of our surgery patients.  Once our patients have checked in to our center, our preoperative phase begins. Our nurses here help patients prepare emotionally and physically for their surgery. The pre-operative phase includes verifying the correct procedure and eye for surgery, reviewing medical history, administering medications, and getting vital signs. Once this is completed, our patients have the opportunity to meet with the anesthesia doctor and their surgeon before their procedure.

  • What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my job is patient care. We work very hard here to ensure that our patients have the best experience at Summit. Providing quality care safely and efficiently is very important to us so that our patients can have the best vision in the safest possible way.

  • What do you feel the most important thing you do at Summit is?

The most important thing I do in my job/career is create high and reliable quality of care, and to help inspire staff and the next generation to lead in these constantly changing, uncertain times.

  • What is the most touching thing you have witnessed while at the surgery center? 

One of the most rewarding things about working in an outpatient surgery center is that patients are better off when they leave here than when they came in. A particular experience that comes to mind is witnessing one of our nurses cry with a patient who had just undergone ICL surgery because she was so amazed that she could finally see for the first time in her life without glasses. She was a younger patient that could not see from early age due to a condition with her eyes. She was very emotional in recovery right after her surgery because her results were so immediate. It was a very emotional moment for her and you can’t help but be emotional too. Those are the moments that make this job so rewarding and worthwhile.

  • Do any of our surgeons have interesting routines in or around surgery?

Having surgery can be very stressful not only for the patient but for the staff as well. It is so important that everything goes as planned, and we all work very hard together to ensure that patients are cared for safely. The stress can be a little bit much sometimes, therefore, you have to have a little fun too, to have balance. Dr. Walton loves his “dad” jokes! We don’t always get them, but it’s so great to have some humor to make the day more fun and a little less stressful!

We too, love Dr. Walton’s ‘dad’ jokes and really love working with Theresa!  We are so happy she is part of the Summit Surgery team and are so grateful for all that she and her team do for our surgery patients all year long.