The following recently appeared in the Wichita State University Shocker Spotlight:
Bonnie E. Tandoc ’94/00 has sculpted her own, distinctive health care career, one that takes advantages of her interests and skills — and she’s loving every minute of it. “I have the best of all worlds,” says Tandoc, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Via Christi Clinic in Newton, Kan. “There’s never a minute of being bored.”
To say the least, her calling is diverse. She works in a variety of areas, including surgery and ob-gyn, but she’s also a counselor, and up to 50 percent of her workload involves advising breast cancer patients. It’s a subject she can relate to; she is a breast cancer survivor, having undertaken successful treatment for it five years ago. Adding to her work enthusiasm, a patient whom Tandoc diagnosed with breast cancer implored her to “not forget” her. “I was so shocked by that,” Tandoc says. “They feel so frightened and lonely — that made it easy to slip into the business of counseling people.”
Tandoc’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, and this past fall she was cited for her work by the Wichita Business Journal as a 2011 “Health Care Hero” in the nursing category. Her academic background is decidedly unconventional. Tandoc, who can speak Chinese and had a nursing degree when she enrolled at WSU, earned a general studies bachelor’s degree and went on to obtain a master’s degree in counseling. She then earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Kennedy Western University. Licensed and board certified, Tandoc joined Wichita Clinic (now Via Christi) in 1980 and has worked there since.
Tandoc’s practice is unusual is another way — it’s rare for patients to have a quick 10-minute appointment. “Most of my appointments are for 30 minutes; and sometimes we squeeze in 45 minutes. These women have a lot of needs beyond a physical exam. They have a lot going on in their lives; a lot of stress and depression —and sometime they just need someone to talk to.”