In the 40 years interventional radiology technologist Tim Auten has worked at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, he has built a reputation for being relatable and approachable with patients. The Naperville resident, who retired this month, is being recognized by Northwestern Medicine for always making patients a priority.
"Patients absolutely love him," says Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Interventional Labs Manager Abby Doerr, DNP. "He has a way that he greets every one of his patients so that they can sense his compassion. He finds a way to think like the patient, and patients remember that. Patients often talk with him like they've been friends for years. Repeat patients specifically ask for him when they come back to the hospital."
Auten has helped with thousands of procedures, which means that he has encountered thousands of patients. "He remembers patients from years ago -- and he has had a lot of patients," says Central DuPage Hospital Interventional Labs Supervisor Robert Burch, who has worked with Auten for 27 years. "His patient care is remarkable and memorable. He treats patients like they are his family members and friends, and they feel relaxed and at ease. His positive attitude and actions make such an impact that patients look forward to seeing him again."
What makes Auten's approach so memorable seems to be his unique ability to bond with patients and create a connection. "I enjoy interacting with patients, trying to get to know them better," says Auten. "When patients share their problems with me, I feel like they're my problems too. I let the patients vent, and I vent with them."
In addition to his profound impact on patients, Auten has also made a significant impact on the team he works with every day. He has served as a mentor to numerous team members and has trained many of the current staff in the department.
"When I first started my training at CDH, Tim was my mentor," says Burch. "He taught me how to do what I do now. He has helped this department grow. New staff members look up to him and realize all that he has to share."
A lot has changed since Auten joined Central DuPage Hospital in 1977. "When I first started working at the hospital, angioplasty wasn't even in our vocabulary," he says. "The technology was still so new that the hospital didn't even have a CT scan. A coronary angioplasty used to take several hours. Now, it can be completed in 20 minutes."
On May 4, Auten completed his last shift, but his legacy will continue with his team members and his patients.
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