The colleague who nominated Susan states: “Susan exemplifies professional practice in ways that are defined by the way she goes about just being herself which is seen in her clinical practice and life. She functions the way she does because of who she is as a person. When she interacts with patients and families she looks at them individually and as a group, a family, somebody's mother, son, etc., all along evaluating and planning on what to do and the expected outcome. This innate ability of hers happens within a calm, friendly manner…It's a natural flow that draws you in. Never have I seen or heard of another coworker feeling negative about working with Susan. It's always the opposite.
"Oh, yay, I'm working with you (meaning Susan) today," and then the conversation launches into what's new with work and home. It's "shop-talk" about meds to be given, vitals signs not within normal limits, problem-solving issues…all in a patient-centered way. I have often thought, "How does she stay so calm, assertive, and get tasks done with such chaos going on?" She stays smooth on the surface.
She enjoys the contact, sharing of life experiences, patient time, ins and outs of being a nurse, or letting patient, family member or coworker be and feel what's happening right at the moment. I've seen her listen to a patient with multiple complaints, say a few comforting words to the patient and then have the patient cooperate and feel positive about it. Susan always says, "It's the little things that you do for them that makes the difference…giving that patient what they feel is so needed for them is what counts. What is it that will make that patient feel like an individual: Calling their son to let them know where they are? Giving a sip of water as soon as the tests are over?
It's all relevant to what the patient thinks and feels, but, the nurse has to be in the moment, paying attention to and responding to that patient/family. Susan does this without knowing it. She has the time somehow built into her style. There is something to be said for the nurse that gets things done in a kind, compassionate way and doesn't think she's done any great deed, just taking care of her patients and enjoying her relationship with her coworkers.”