Danielle Stewart

Danielle Stewart, RN, BSN

UPMC Presbyterian 12D
UPMC Presbyterian
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
During all of the commotion when the rest of us were focused on the medical aspects of the patient's situation, Danielle went over and crouched next to his bed, took his hand and said," I know this is really scary, and this has been a long road, but you are a fighter and we are going to take care of you."

 UPMC Presbyterian had a patient that spent an extended amount of time with us and was suffering a complicated illness. Many of our nurses became very close with this patient and cared for and knew him well. During one night, Danielle noticed from the beginning of the shift that something was not right. She monitored his lab values, vital signs, and clinical symptoms, and was in constant communication with the doctors, as she was concerned about the patients well being. In the early morning hours of the shift, the patient started to rapidly decline and needed to be transferred to a higher level of care in the ICU. His room became a flurry of activity, with nurses placing IV’s, taking blood pressures, hanging fluids, and connecting him to monitors for his transfer. During all of the commotion when the rest of us were focused on the medical aspects of the patient's situation, Danielle went over and crouched next to his bed, took his hand and said, " I know this is really scary, and this has been a long road, but you are a fighter and we are going to take care of you." He looked back at her and said, " Dani, I am so scared. Please don’t leave me. Why is this happening to me?," and started to cry. Danielle knew that he needed someone to believe in him, in what was likely some of the most difficult moments of his life, and that is exactly what she did. Danielle effectively delegated tasks to the rest of our team so that she could stay next to him, hold his hand, and encourage him to stay mentally strong and not give up. As I worked in the room preparing for his transfer and listened to Danielle calm and support the patient and explain what was happening and what steps were going to happen next, I was amazed by Danielle’s ability to communicate with her patient and bring him out of the hysteria and fear he was experiencing. As a nurse, I have experienced many codes, but I think very often we get caught up in the clinical aspects and forget that the patient is scared too. Dani knew that her patient needed emotional and spiritual support as much as he needed medical support in that moment, and he was successfully transferred to the ICU and was taken to emergency surgery later that morning. During the entire shift, Danielle was keenly aware that her patient’s condition was changing even when his lab results and vital signs all were holding steady, and she was able to advocate to the team for her patient who could not advocate for himself in those moments. Danielle is the essence of everything a nurse should be and her actions are everything a nurse should do on a daily basis. The best part about Danielle is that this is not an isolated situation.  I have seen her give a foot massage to a confused elderly woman who was restless and couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, perform relaxation practices with a young female patient suffering from anxiety, and comfort many families struggling with watching their ill family member during their hospital stay. While this patient was not able to be transferred back to our floor, Danielle still spends time with him before and after her shift to let him know we all care for him and are here for him. Danielle would never ask for recognition because I know she doesn’t do any of these things for recognition, but because she truly cares about every one of her patients well being. She is possibly the most deserving person of a DAISY Award of any nurse I have ever met, and I am honored to work beside, and learn from her.