Melissa Yarzabek

Melissa Yarzabek

Melissa Yarzabek, RN, CVRN

Cardiothoracic Surgery Stepdown Unit
Lancaster General Health
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
United States
Melissa provided exemplary care and advocated for the patient when he could no longer advocate for himself.

A patient came to Lancaster General’s Emergency Department with crushing chest pain. The patient and his family discussed the risks and opted for open heart surgery. Following surgery, the patient had multiple complications. The patient and his family mentioned to the nursing staff that this was not the quality of life he was looking for. The family requested Hospice care and a Palliative Medicine consultation. The team was moved by the grief and emotional struggle they were seeing in the patient and his family. The team advocated for the patient and asked for Palliative Medicine consults during rounds. As the patient’s condition continued to decline, Melissa actually escalated her concerns for the patient’s wishes and reached out to her Nurse Manager in the middle of the night to seek guidance and support. That morning, Melissa stayed late to ensure that the patient was comfortable and that a plan was enacted to advocate for the patient’s wishes. With the support of her team, the patient’s care was transitioned to ensure comfort. The patient was discharged to Hospice care and peacefully passed away in the presence of his family and loved ones. A few days later, we received a tearful message from the patient’s daughter. She expressed her gratitude to the nurses on 5 East for their efforts to ensure the patient’s wishes were honored. She also expressed how appreciative she was of Melissa for escalating her concerns and for truly advocating for her father. Her compassion, care, and commitment to her father were amazing.  Melissa provided exemplary care and advocated for the patient when he could no longer advocate for himself. I believe that Melissa has demonstrated qualities that are deserving of The DAISY Award.