Susan Hartnett

Susan Hartnett, RN

10 East Telemetry
UC San Diego Health System
San Diego, California
United States

I would like to nominate Susan Hartnett RN from 10 East for the DAISY Award. She consistently demonstrates all of the qualities of a compassionate and caring nurse including: educating patients and their families, making patient needs her first priority-above her own needs, willingly taking on assignments that other nurses shy away from because of difficulty and/or neediness, and taking time to sit in patient rooms and talk with them about their care, fears, anxieties while helping to promote a positive and realistic focus on the future. Susan is also trained in healing touch and takes the time during her shifts to not only do healing touch on her patients, but on other identified patients as well. She is able to facilitate positive relationships with even the most difficult of patients because she recognizes their behavior as a response to their illness and hospitalization and takes the time to get at the heart of the patient's issues.

We recently had a patient on our unit that had been hospitalized for several months; she was extremely ill with multiple comorbidities that impeded her healing. The patient's husband was very accusatory, angry about his wife's situation and previous care and was constantly approaching our staff with negativity. The patient's acuity was extremely high and she required constant care and supervision.

Susan was able to establish a positive relationship with the husband and the patient, to the point that the husband only felt comfortable having the patient cared for on our unit and due to the trust Susan and the family had developed, she took care of this patient on every shift that she worked for the four months the patient was admitted to the unit. Susan was able to get the husband to focus on what was best for his wife and what her needs were instead of focusing on his frustration with past care. Susan identified subtle changes in the patient's condition: her mental status, urine output and color, slight blood pressure decreases and facilitated an RRT that resulted in identifying a brewing UTI, subsequently getting the patient on antibiotics. Susan was very proactive during the patient's hospitalization in communicating with attending physicians about patient issues, concerns and discharge goals. While Susan cared for this patient, the demeanor of the husband was entirely different; the accusations and anger subsided and he smiled more often, participated in his wife's care and communicated positively.

Lastly, I would just like to mention the impression that Susan left with this family. Susan's father was diagnosed with a brain tumor while she was caring for the patient; she had to take a couple of weeks off because of his rapidly declining health and eventual passing. When the patient's husband learned of Susan's loss, he was very saddened and inquired about the funeral. He had a large arrangement of flowers sent to the church to express his condolences