Q&A with Susanne Rendeiro, Nurse Practitioner

Apicha Community Health Center Nov 25, 2015  

Nurse practitioner

Susanne Rendeiro provides primary care and specializes in Family Practice and HIV/AIDS.

She holds a Master of Science (Nursing) from Pace University Family Nurse Practitioner Program and a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) from Rutgers University, College of Nursing.

1. How long have you been working in the medical profession?

I graduated from Rutgers University College of Nursing almost 21 years ago. I first heard about the role of the nurse practitioner while I was in nursing school. One of my professors was an NP.

I knew I wanted to be a nurse practitioner when I was in nursing school so 1 year after graduating, I started NP school at Pace University. I finished 2 years later. I’ve been an NP since 1997.

2. How is working at Apicha CHC different than working at any other health organization?

I think what makes Apicha CHC different than the other agencies that I have worked at is the quality of the case management services. The CM team that I work with at Apicha CHC is outstanding.

They are caring, dedicated, and have an amazing amount of perseverance! They are able to locate patients that seem to be lost to care. They will call, make home visits, and even go to the patient's neighborhood in hopes of trying to find them.

In addition to tracking down the patients, I feel like the CM team makes the patients feel like they are truly cared for. I know the CM team worries about the wellbeing of the patients as much as I do.

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3. Why did you decide to specialize in family practice and HIV/ AIDS?

I wanted to specialize in family practice because I wanted to be able to treat patients of all ages. I started specializing in HIV completely by accident. I looked for an NP job for seven months after I graduated. I took the first job that was offered to me. It was working at a primary care clinic on the Lower East Side that also saw patients who were HIV+. I was hired to see both HIV + and – patients. I ended up loving working with the HIV+ patients and I received my HIV specialist certification from the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIV).

4. Describe a typical workday at Apicha CHC for you.

There is definitely a routine to my day. We all start the day by reviewing the appointments for the day, then I check my labs and return my phone calls.

But the part that changes all the time is the unpredictable events in my patients’ lives. They may be facing a crisis, medical or social, and they turn to Apicha CHC for assistance. They may have gotten evicted, or lost their medications, or relapsed on drugs/alcohol. They are in crisis, they need assistance and they ask me and the case management team here at Apicha CHC for help.

I am so happy that they feel like they can turn to us and trust us to help them out with whatever is going on in their lives.

5. What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I can't think of one specific highlight so far. I love that many of my patients have followed me to Apicha CHC after I left my previous agency. I have known some of my patients for over 10 years and that is very satisfying for me as a nurse practitioner. I feel as though I know them pretty well, they know me and we have gone through some pretty rough times together, as well as shared their accomplishments.

I love it when patients introduce me to their families, or their significant others. I really enjoy looking at pictures of their grandchildren, their family parties, their pets, and their beautifully decorated apartments. So I guess my highlight is the amazing relationships that I have with my patients.

6. Are there any specific health resources you recommend to your patients?

Everyone loves to Google medical information these days. I get a little worried when patients get their medical information from the Internet because there is so much misinformation out there. I recommend some websites, such as the CDC, the NYC.gov website and some of the HIV related sites.

7. What are some of you favorite activities to do during winter in New York?

I don’t really like the cold weather or the shorter, darker days so I’m more of a summer weather person. In the winter I like to stay home and have friends and family over. I especially like trying out new recipes on them. So far, no one has stopped coming over because of the food!

8. What quote or advice do you live by?

A patient told me years ago “it will all be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, then it’s not the end.” That quote has gotten me through some rough times, especially when there has been a lot of uncertainty and chaos going on.

Apicha Community Health Center | LGBT Health Center in NYC

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