Excellence in Nursing – Clinician: Sue Baumcratz
Registered Nurse Coordinator, Clarion Hospital Emergency Department
People walking into Clarion Hospital Emergency Department often have many questions, but there’s one they usually ask first: Is Sue working?
A well-known presence in her hometown, Sue Baumcratz has offered her warm, caring presence in the ED for 45 years.
“Every department of the hospital, they’re just kind, caring people and I love working here,” she says. “I’m very blessed to be where I am.”
Kindness is the cornerstone on which Baumcratz has based her entire career, and both her patients and peers have benefited.
“Every nurse that comes in, the very first thing I say is, ‘You can have all the skills you want, but if you don’t have kindness, there’s no reason to be here. The most important thing is to be kind,” she says. “Then, listen to what the patients tell you and be attentive. They’re afraid. Listen to what they say and try to make them a little more comfortable.’
“I also tell the nurses, ‘It doesn’t matter if the patient is rich or poor, a nursing supervisor or a CEO, clean or dirty, an addict or living in poverty — you treat everybody the same.”’
Baumcratz, Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry’s 2020 Citizen of the Year, calls the volume of thank-you cards she receives from grateful patients “overwhelming.” They are the reason she comes to work every day, which was especially true during the early uncertain days of the pandemic, when she remembers comforting scared patients as their chest tubes were going in.
“All you could see were their eyes, and it just broke your heart,” she says. “We were just glad to be there to be able to help them.”
A devotee of lifelong learning, Baumcratz earned her Certified Emergency Nurse designation in 2002. She also was named the first recipient of the hospital’s Linda Steiner-Mander Nursing Excellence Award, given to a staff member who exceeds patient and hospital expectations.
Baumcratz is excited about what lies ahead for her community hospital given the plans announced this year for Butler Health System to partner with Excela Health. She fully intends to be around to see what that future holds.
“I am not looking for retirement,” she says. “I plan on being here as long as I am able to be, for sure.”