Susan Blanding

Susan Blanding, RN

Oncology
Palmetto Health Richland
Columbia, South Carolina
United States

I have worked with Susan since she transferred to the medical oncology unit from the BMT unit 10 years ago. Over the years I have witnessed her display all the characteristics a Daisy award winner possesses. She demonstrates professionalism in her work and has maintained an active role in the Riverbanks Oncology Nursing Society for the past 12 years holding a variety of offices. Her patients often comment on her professional behavior and “crisply” ironed uniforms which inspire confidence in her care. Susan’s years of experience make her an unofficial leader on the unit for her clinical expertise. She is always there to lend a helping hand and first responder in emergency situations. During rounds a young patient told me “Susan was here to save me again yesterday, even when she is not taking care of me, she is here” The patient had a severe drug reaction the previous day and although Susan was not her nurse she was at her side the moment she knew help was needed. This is everyday behavior for Susan and she is consistently recognized by her co-workers for selflessness, teamwork and helpfulness. Susan’s passion for oncology is evident in her day to day practice as she shows heartfelt compassion to patients and staff. Working in our area can be difficult and often sad. Susan is the first to recognize when staff members are struggling and offers support as well as making management aware. Three years ago she began the Retention Committee to help increase teamwork and support and recognize staff members. The committee welcomes new members, plans showers, and offers consolation for illness and death. Aside from the retention committee Susan goes out on her own sending personal cards to staff going through difficult times. She has even sent money to staff after the death of a loved one. O f course Susan’s number one priority is to the patient. She treats each patient as our vision states “with the care and compassion she would want for herself and her family.” Just like most Daisy award winners, Susan quietly goes above and beyond for patients asking nothing in return. One recent example of Susan’s care and compassion happened when a patient expressed a desire to have his hair cut. He had been in the hospital for a long time, Susan shaved him and attempted to cut his hair; however, it was too long and too thick for the clippers on the unit. Susan arranged and paid for a barber to come and cut this gentlemen’s hair. On the day the barber was scheduled to come, Susan over heard the friend of a patient ask if the hospital had a hairdresser. Although this was not her patient Susan arranged to have this patients hair cut as well. The patient was thrilled; the chemotherapy had left her hair difficult to manage. Susan paid for both haircuts out of her own pocket and would except no money from either patient. As usual Susan did these things without boasting or looking for recognition. The only way I found out was during rounds, the patient was so touched and happy with her new hair cut she could not wait to tell me how wonderful she felt Susan was for going above and beyond to make her feel special.
This is just one small example of how Susan approaches her work every day. She goes above and beyond, always putting the patients and her co-workers first. She is certainly deserving of a Daisy Award