Intermediate Neurosciences Unit, Tower 10CD/12B
“We are going to have a good day, and we are going to take great care of our patients.”
Tower 10D staff are used to hearing these words from Susan Rodriguez, BSN, RN, CNRN, at the beginning of each shift. She is known for her positive attitude and ability to create a caring-healing environment for patients and staff alike.
With patients, she seeks to build trusting relationships and understand issues that may affect their treatment or recovery. When a patient was verbally aggressive and angry, Rodriguez “intentionally used her own energy and compassion to create healing,” recalls Nursing Director Mary Pennington, MS, RN, who nominated Rodriguez. “Susan’s intuition let her know that there must be something else going on with the patient.”
Rodriguez initiated a Social Work consult and slowly gained the trust of the patient, who opened up about a family situation that was causing her angst. These conversations proved to be a turning point in the patient’s care; she understood Rodriguez had her best interests at heart.
From a young age, Rodriguez learned to turn negative situations into positive ones. When she was 17, she was suddenly charged with caring for her 7-year-old brother as their mother was no longer able to do so. “I remember thinking to myself that I had to do something with my life, to set an example for my brother and make sure he had someone he could look up to,” she said.
Since earning her BSN at Northeastern University and joining BWH 12 years ago, she continues to set a strong example for everyone around her.
As founder and co-chair of the 10CD/12B Care Improvement Team, Rodriguez helps to identify quality improvement projects, such as initiating multidisciplinary rounds that have become “an integral part of the daily routine and improve communication among care team members,” wrote former Nurse Educator Heidi Doucette, MS, RN, CNRN, ACCNS-AG, in a letter of support.
Rodriguez is also among a select group of nurses trained in chemotherapy and immunotherapy for Neurosciences patients.
“Susan possesses joy in her nursing, being a cheerleader for us all when a shift or a patient outcome goes well,” wrote Siobhan Raftery, BSN, RN, CNRN, Neurosurgery transitional care nurse, in a letter of support. “She feels the win for the patient and family, and she celebrates these victories. She is an incredible team player.”