HomeNursingNursing Hero 3rd Place: Susan Ng (Advanced Practice Nurse, Senior Home Support)

Nursing Hero 3rd Place: Susan Ng (Advanced Practice Nurse, Senior Home Support)

Published on

It is our honour and pleasure to nominate Susan Ng (Advanced Practice Nurse) Hospital News Nursing Hero Awards. She is the nurse navigator for Seniors Home Support, an interdisciplinary primary care program for homebound seniors. As a full-time nurse navigator since 2021, she is the first point of contact to triage and respond to patient concerns, provide timely follow-up, and help patients and caregivers navigate hospital resources.

The testimonials below offer profound accounts of Susan’s impact on our program, underscoring her exceptional clinical knowledge, effective triaging skills, and compassionate care for our patients and caregivers by helping patients and their families to navigate through health care system. She demonstrates remarkable leadership by taking the initiative to propose innovative and thoughtful patient-centered solutions, clearly outlined in the example provided by W.S. She is an excellent and dedicated advocate, not only for our patients when she acts as a liaison in the emergency department but also for homebound seniors in general. 

Susan is extremely passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable seniors, proposing workflow solutions, sharing resources with our team, and implementing quality improvement initiatives. She has volunteered to be part of the Ontario Health Team palliative care table, led an environmental scan of geriatric resources and needs in Uxbridge, and also led our program’s quality improvement research, which she will present internationally in April 2024, impacting the lives of homebound seniors worldwide. We are so fortunate to have Susan as a member of our team and strongly believe that she deserves recognition for the profound impact that she has on the lives of our seniors.

Testimonials

It is with great pleasure that I share this endorsement of Susan Ng for the Hospital News Nursing Hero awards.

I have had 3 family members in the Seniors Home Support Program for several years now. One who recently passed away from a very challenging 12-year battle with a rare, degenerative illness, and 2 others who have various cognitive, health, and mobility issues that require round-the-clock supervision and care. As a working single mother, this program and in particular Susan Ng and Dr. Mui have given me such hope for the future of Health Care for Seniors in our province. That is no exaggeration. The personal, knowledgeable, compassionate, efficient, and thorough treatment we receive with this clinic is phenomenal. I rave about them regularly to anyone who will listen, so I’m happy to have a chance to put it down on paper.

Susan’s responsiveness and personalised approach to care have been invaluable to me and my family. Whenever I reach out, whether by phone or voicemail, Susan consistently responds within an hour, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to our well-being. She is well aware of my family members’ health histories and issues, enabling her to provide tailored and timely recommendations and support. Susan expertly deduces, triages, and determines where we need to go next, whether it’s a phone call or a home visit with the doctor or paramedics, or an emailed (through Medeo) requisition from the doctor. Susan’s leadership in this facet is implacability. Moreover, Susan’s follow-up care is seamless and thorough. She never goes overboard and never minimizes the issues. Susan takes the time to re-explain in detail what the next steps will be, to ensure I fully understand the doctor. She tells me what any new prescriptions will look like and never makes me feel like an imposition when I reach out to her with additional questions, amidst her business schedule. Susan has even coordinated my large extended family into group meetings with Dr. Mui via video conference and trust me, managing all of us is no easy feat, that alone is worthy of an award!

When emergencies arise, which they tend to do with three fragile seniors, Susan is always calm and centred (which keeps me calm and centred too). Susan even went extra mile to visit my father when he was in the ER and hospital after a fall. It was extremely touching and comforting to know Susan, the “voice on the other end of the phone”, was there in person, holding his hand and being an advocate for him.

And when the time came and my mother was ready to pass away, Susan and Dr. Mui were there with us, by phone and in person, explaining what to expect. Susan, with her deep experience in palliative care, knew exactly how to do it. She gently connected me with the funeral home and helped with a lot of details behind the scenes that I don’t even remember because of the loss.

The consistency of care and the time saved by being a part of this incredible program as a busy caregiver is so helpful. From the first call to the appointment, to simple tests being administered here at the house, to medications being phoned in and hand-delivered from the pharmacy, it saves me from countless trips, missed work days, and from the risks of bringing fragile seniors with mobility issues into hospitals and clinics where they are susceptible to falls and/or contracting infections.

Being a caregiver to seniors is often an emotionally complicated and stressful business. Having a team of Health Care Providers like Dr. Mui and Susan Ng behind us is 100 per cent the reason I can keep them here at home, comfortable and connected to family, friends, and their community. This support offered my mother the security and dignity to stay home with her husband until her death. And it allows me to maintain some semblance of balance. I am extremely grateful.

***

My wife with advanced Alzheimer’s condition has benefitted immensely from Susan Ng’s outstanding palette of caring attributes. Susan took the initiative to find a smarter way to replace the tiny broken external Y-connector for the permanent G-tube Francine depends on for all meds and nutrition. Instead of the stressful, resource-heavy transport, long wait in the ER, and the expensive trip home, she suggested I photo that part and site and email it to her; she showed this to the Interventional Radiology staff who quickly provided the simple part. She called for me to pick it up and with the help of our regular nurse, the part was easily replaced.

On a different more recent situation at the ER, I was deeply impressed with her visit to advocate and facilitate my wife’s procedure. Not only that but imagine how grateful I was when she arrived with a toasted sesame bagel for this anxious caregiver!

***

Our family has been a patient at the SHS clinic for a short period and in that time, Susan has made a huge impact on our family. She is constantly following up on test results, touching base with family members after a test to see what the outcome is, and also meets with patients when they need anything. For instance, while waiting in hospital for an appointment, Susan provided us with a blood requisition so that we could do both appointments at the same time and minimize the amount of time necessary to get the information the clinic needed. Another example is the time she called on her way home from work to touch base about a test result that was pending, indicating it was on her radar, and that she would be following up on the test the next day when she returned to the office. Susan constantly goes above and beyond connecting between care providers, patients, and their family members.

I first met Susan in Markham Stouffville Hospital ER when she came to see my late husband. He was already having dementia and was not being very cooperative. From the outset, I was impressed by Susan’s kind and patient manner. She spoke to him calmly and quietly and assured him he would have good care.

Since then, I have had numerous interactions with Susan, and each time I find her to be very knowledgeable, professional, compassionate, and supportive. Her tone of voice is always warm and friendly and I never feel I am being stupid with my questions. When I have to leave a message, I know it will be answered as soon as possible and Susan will pass my information to Dr. Mui appropriately.

Altogether, I think Susan is well qualified to receive Hospital News Nursing Award.

– Annie Cheung, Physician, anncheung@oakvalleyhealth.ca, A.M. (caregiver). 

Click here to see the 2024 Nursing Heroes Special Section

Latest articles

One in 5 adults in Canada without access to primary care

More than one-in-five adults in Canada did not have access to primary care, with...

Empowering Nurse Practitioners to transform Ontario’s healthcare landscape

As healthcare professionals, we are acutely aware of the challenges facing Ontario’s healthcare system....

Anti-Black racism in medical school: a study from one school

A study from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine provides a picture of...

At the coalface of a demographic crisis: Leading healthcare transformation at North York General

In my over 20 years as an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon at North York...

More like this

One in 5 adults in Canada without access to primary care

More than one-in-five adults in Canada did not have access to primary care, with...

Empowering Nurse Practitioners to transform Ontario’s healthcare landscape

As healthcare professionals, we are acutely aware of the challenges facing Ontario’s healthcare system....

At the coalface of a demographic crisis: Leading healthcare transformation at North York General

In my over 20 years as an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon at North York...

New cancer therapy approach slows growth of advanced gastrointestinal tumours

New approach for early cancer treatment was shown to significantly reduce the risk of...

Collaborating internationally to better protect patients from superbugs

Surrey Memorial Hospital is one of 12 hospitals around the globe involved in a...

1000th Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion transplantation surgery celebrated at UHN

Shaf Keshavjee and Marcelo Cypel continue to see the future for the Ex-Vivo Lung...