Tera Freeman, RN, Wellstar Cobb Hospital

AJC Celebrating Nurses honoree: Tera Freeman, RN, Wellstar Cobb Hospital

When Tera Freeman was in nursing school, she wasn’t interested in cardiovascular care, but that’s now become her passion as a registered nurse at Wellstar Cobb Hospital.

“Cardio care was my least favorite part in school, but now heart disease and strokes have become my thing,” said Freeman. She graduated from Kennesaw State University nursing school and has a biology degree from Georgia State University.

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Freeman said she became more interested in cardiovascular disease a few years ago after spearheading a community wellness fair on heart health.

With support from her Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Freeman organized the event and recruited volunteers to take blood pressures, hand out literature and discuss diet, medication, and disease complications.

The purpose was to educate African American women on the importance of heart health and teach them to recognize symptoms of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, Freeman said.

“The turnout was not large; however, I was inspired to improve my education at the bedside and obtain the cardiac vascular nursing certification,” she said.

Freeman grew up in Marietta and has been a nurse for three years, all at Wellstar Cobb in Austell. She enjoys working on an interdisciplinary health care team, then seeing patients improve as a result of interventions that she helps develop.

“I enjoy caring for people, and in working as a nurse, I get to see the progress in my patients,” she said.

Wellstar Cobb patients frequently mention in letters and surveys that Freeman has been their most caring nurse, and families make special trips back to the hospital to express their gratitude for the care she provided, said nurse manager Rebecca Henry.

“She is compassionate and engaged in her patients’ care and the overall care our unit provides to our community. Her inspiring attitude lights up our unit and makes it a better place to work,” Henry said.

Also, Freeman “has an eye for improvement” and can quickly assess situations and suggest opportunities for better patient care, Henry said.

She does this through medical record audits to improve care documentation and works on projects to improve the patient experience. Freeman has also precepted new nurses and mentored students as they finished their practicums.

“She derives great satisfaction from helping others learn, grow and develop,” Henry said.