This essay way written by Meaghan Connors from the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center, Radiation Oncology Department nominating registered nurse, LeSandra Bertch, for CURE®’s 2019 Extraordinary Healer® Award.
LeSandra Bertch, OCN, is an extraordinary person and clinician. I have not worked with her for very long, but I can already tell that she is an exceptional nurse. When this award came to my attention, I immediately thought to nominate LeSandra. When I asked my other co-workers to describe her, I noticed that it was hard for them to summarize what kind of nurse she is in just a few words, but some of the words used were “exceptional,” “caring,” “compassionate,” “determined” and “empathetic.”
In the short time that I have worked with her, I have seen LeSandra do everything in her power to help patients and make them feel comfortable. She always goes above and beyond. She is a born leader who was previously the manager of our office and helped it grow into what it is today. She continually advances her personal knowledge and exemplifies what it means to be a lifelong learner. LeSandra respects all nurses and values the discipline of nursing. She brings a positive high energy and a personal touch. Whenever she has time off, the patients all ask where LeSandra is and if everything is OK. This just shows the impression that she leaves on her patients.
From left: Meaghan Connors and LeSandra Bertch, OCN. Photos by Carole Volpe.
A couple of examples of how LeSandra goes above and beyond come to mind. The first: We had a patient who had bedbugs, and she went out of her way to set up infection prevention to determine a plan for when the patient came to our center. She also talked with the doctor to get a home nurse and social workers involved so that the patient’s home could be treated. This patient also had some problems with transportation, so LeSandra worked behind the scenes and set up a Medicaid transport so the patient did not have to worry about getting to his appointments. The second example involved a patient who kept canceling appointments because she did not have a ride. A neighbor had offered to drive her, but sometimes he was not available, so she would cancel. LeSandra called many transportation services and finally found this patient a reliable ride to her treatments through Catholic Charities USA. These are just two illustrations of how LeSandra puts her patients first.
It is an honor and privilege to work with such a wonderful person. Her caring nature and dedication to hard work cause everyone she works with to be better.