Name: December Ersek, WHS Assistant Nurse Manager

Tell us about yourself?

About your job: I have been in the assistant nurse manager role at Washington Health System Washington Hospital for 4 ½ years working with inpatient staff and managers as well as the education department and helping to orient new hires. (I also work per diem at Transitions Healthcare where I purchased and put together a huge cardboard ice cream truck that we put over top of me in a Geri-chair and wheeled me around to deliver Freeze Pops to the residents with the help of activities, Paula to help brighten their day since families can’t really come and see them in person.)

Education: I am a graduate from Fort Cherry High School. I obtained my RN diploma here at the Washington Hospital School of Nursing in 2008, moving on to my BSN and graduating in August 2013, and am now working on completing my MBA.

Hobbies outside of work: Mask Making! It has obviously become very quickly a hobby by demand but I love making them and love to be able to make masks for kids now, because if they have to wear them, it should be something that they like! My other favorite hobby is just spending time with family. Family is the most important part of my life. Without my family I don’t know where I would be. They have all added uniqueness to all of my successes.

Family, pets, etc? On August 14th of this year I married my now husband, Chris, in the WHS Washington Hospital Chapel! We have been together for 8 years. I have 2 daughters. Alyssa, who is 20, works as a care partner for PRN while she is attending pre-med bio at RMU. Emilee, 18, just graduated from Canon McMillan High School and will be moving on to the South Hills Beauty Academy! I also have a stepson, Michael, who is still in high school and attending Vo-Tech for welding! I am very excited for all of their futures.

Pets… Well, I have a zoo at home! I have 2 Shih Tzu’s named Checca and Reese, an inherited Weiner named Puddles who is 15 years old! I have 2 adopted cats, Heidi and London. And a 3rd cat that I just had to have named Kringle! Our family also has a pet red tailed boa constrictor named Pancake, a cute little ferret named Samuel, and a beta fish that I never thought would live as long as it did!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always wanted to help people. I have had other jobs that I was happy with, but never truly as happy as I am being a nurse and helping others, whether it is patients, families, or staff. This is my passion.

If you were given a free plane ticket to visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

My dream is to one day make it to Italy. My roots are from Italy. My parents were fortunate enough to go a couple times, and one day I hope to go myself.

What skill or talent would you most like to learn or improve?

The skill I would like to master is not eating so much! But I love food, I love people, and combine the two and how can you control yourself?

Who is the funniest person in your family?

These kids of mine! They never cease to amaze me and I am always so nervous of what they may say next, and who is it going to be in front of them when they do. They are always trying to teach me Tik Tok dance moves, taking photos of me unannounced, …!

What do you want to tell the public about COVID-19 or healthcare in general?

I want the public to not be afraid to come to us. We are prepared and ready to care for you. We have learned a lot through this process and we know how scary it was for everyone, but we are here for you, we have supplies that we need, and we are very well trained to care for you in the safest environment. Nursing is known for change and adapting to change sometimes hourly, not just daily and we have done just that. So, please don’t wait. If you need care, don’t delay, come now and let us help you. We are here for you and we are so thankful for your support through these unprecedented times. Thank you for all that you do for US! Know that you have also made a huge imprint in our hearts and lives that will last forever.

Photo of Family