In nursing, a key to providing superior patient care—just one of many—is understanding the role of diagnosis. While no two cancer patients might require identical approaches, it’s much clearer that a cancer patient and a stroke survivor start with different care needs. That’s the way Susie Krug approaches her work, directing nurses at Saint Luke’s East as chief nursing officer.
“There’s a saying that care for the patient is individualized,” Krug says. “I’ve tried to really cater to that—you have to determine what is that value to them. So you learn about them and can address them accordingly.”
Finding that specific point of connection, she says, is an important first step in establishing a successful nurse-patient relationship.
“Some diseases, organically, are really challenging,” Krug says. “But everybody eats; you can always connect with someone about food. If you’re waiting on stitches, just ask, ‘what’s for dinner at your house tonight?’ If you connect with them, their experience is more enjoyable and can make a complex situation simple.”
The job may be complex, she says, but if you break it down and start with simple goals, you can get to a good plan, and simple additions can make it a perfect plan.
“That’s what leadership is to me for the patient population,” Krug says. “We’ve had to do so much of that the past two years as we outlined a new disease, something that had never happened in many careers, then break down how to care for those patients.
Read Ingram's full profile on Krug.