Dr. Natalie Rochester

June 24, 2022
Dr. Natalie Rochester
Dr. Natalie Rochester

Providing human connection of comfort and kindness

The first thing that Dr. Natalie Rochester, a skilled obstetrician-gynecologist in northern Colorado, does before patients before go under anesthesia in the operating room is show kindness.

She stands at a patients’ bedside and takes a few moments to hold their hand. It’s a compassionate, gentle gesture that comforts and reassures patients.

Those who work alongside Rochester in the operating room know that before any procedure, Rochester comforts her patient.

“It’s a very kind and caring gesture,” said Melinda Molina, OR specialty coordinator for perioperative services at UCHealth in northern Colorado. “I am guessing it’s often remembered despite the drugs our patients are on just before induction.”

It’s a personal touch that would make her “mamma proud,” Rochester said.

“If a patient needs a hand, I let them hold it. If they need a hug, I offer a hug. If they need prayer, I pray,” she said. “It’s really about realizing that people need medicine, they need surgery, and they need to be comforted.”

Holding the hand of her patient has been rooted in Rochester’s routine since her days in residency.

“I had a great attending physician who was an amazing surgeon, but not a great person. His patients never knew if he scrubbed in or was there or not,” Rochester said.

A keen observer, Rochester knew that lack of human connection could make patients anxious or feel more vulnerable.

So, as simple as it is, Rochester begins each surgery with a warm gesture, holding a hand.

“It’s about me letting my patients know I’m there.”

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About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.