Steve Ernst

Steve Ernst

Steve Ernst, RN

Critical Care
Hanover Hospital
Hanover, Pennsylvania
United States

Steve Ernst, and RN in the Critical Care Area was recognized by a coworker for his advocacy for his patience, his compassionate care and his dedication to the CCA unit and Palliative Care Committee.

... We recently had a patient in CCA who was admitted for her fourth admission in less than 1 month. Her daughter was her POA. The daughter could be very difficult and unrealistic about her mother's condition. She did not seem to grasp the severity of her condition or overall prognosis. She would tell anyone who listened "My mother is my best friend, and I want her to live forever." I asked Steve to please provide some palliative care teaching to the daughter over the weekend when he worked. When I came in on Monday, the daughter came to see me to discuss d/c planning for her mother. She was thinking about home with hospice at this time. It was the first time she seemed to grasp her mother's overall condition. She talked about the conversation she had with Steve, and how helpful he was. She said he explained things so well, and she felt better after speaking with him. She did say she wasn't nice to Steve, and did not want to hear what he had to say. Even though she didn't want to hear it, she seemed to finally understand. This is an example of providing advocacy, which is one of the characteristics of a DAISY nominee.

The second situation I was involved in with Steve was last week. We had a patient, terminally extubated, that the daughter wanted to take home with hospice. All arrangements were made that day. A few hours before she was to be transported home, she started to progress in the dying process. We were very concerned that she would pass in the ambulance if we tried to send her home. The attending physician spoke with the daughter about keeping the patient here, and not transporting her home due to her condition. The daughter was still adamant about taking her home. Steve went in, and spoke with the daughter regarding the patient's progression. The patient expired 5 minutes after she would have been picked up by transport. He spent quite a bit of time with the daughter, and she decided to keep the patient here. This is an example of compassionate care, another characteristic of a DAISY nominee.

Steve is willing to spend as much time with patients and their families as needed to educate them on their diagnosis, disease process and treatment plan. I know this all sounds like normal nursing care, but in this day and age with computer charting, nurses have less time to spend with patients. Steve consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that his patients' needs are met holistically. He is a positive role model for his coworkers by being committed to excellence. I think Steve is a wonderful asset to CCA and also the Palliative Care Committee." - J.D.

You can view a photo slideshow of Steve's award presentation at