Salute to Nurses: Eric Stajduhar


Date: May 8, 2023
Categories: Health Focused

Nurses nationwide have increasing demands placed on them. As a result, they are asked to do more with less, making it challenging to provide the high level of care patients need and deserve. In addition, the nursing shortage is a significant challenge; there aren’t enough nurses to meet the growing demand, which leads to burnout and compassion fatigue.

It is a pleasure to take this opportunity to pay tribute to these courageous individuals for their selflessness and for going above and beyond. We thank all the nurses out there for what they do, day in and day out. We appreciate you and are eternally grateful. Join us as we take a brief glimpse into the person behind the mask and what inspired them to be a nurse.

Growing up in Richmond, Eric Stajduhar underwent several surgeries during his teen years. “I remember the nurses always being right there when I needed them and making such a difference,” says Stajduhar. These experiences led him to James Madison University, where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

When starting his career, he chose cardiology. “It is the perfect mix between emergency, intensive care, and procedural medicine,” says Stajduhar. “As a kid, science was 100% my favorite subject, so the cause and effect of cardiac events are what clicked; I love the science behind it all.”

After the birth of his second son ten years ago at Augusta Health and having worked in a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in another health system, Stajduhar decided he would like to work at Augusta Health Heart and Vascular Center as a Registered Nurse in the Cardiac Cath and Electrophysiology labs. “The community feel was overwhelmingly different from a bigger hospital, and I saw how people and staff were treated differently,” he explains. As a community hospital, Augusta Health Cardiology prides itself on offering many services, including outpatient diagnostics, interventional procedures, and rehabilitation; our community doesn’t have to drive far to receive exceptional care.

From his experience working in the cardiac world, Stajduhar identifies that his biggest strength as a nurse is that he genuinely enjoys what he does. “It allows me to be fully engaged every day in trying to make a difference for our patients and their families,” he adds. “Better than any title or certificate is the thank you notes from our patients and their families. Knowing that we made a difference for them in their time of need.”

Patients needing cardiac attention receive care from a dedicated and experienced team of nurses and technicians specially trained in cardiac care, working together with physicians. With the seriousness of cardiac conditions, there are stressful days. The most challenging days are when the outcome is unfavorable. “As nurses, we want to heal everyone, and it’s hard when our efforts aren’t enough. We want to fix every problem for our patients, which weighs heavily on us when we can’t.” To deal with these stressful moments, Stajduhar loves to exercise and go on adventures with his family. “Family time is everything for me when I am home,” says Stajduhar.

“The most important lessons I’ve learned in nursing are perseverance, knowledge, and mental toughness,” says Stajduhar. “Everyone will have bad days or procedures that don’t go well, but the next day, the next minute, there will be someone that needs you to be fully there, focused, caring, and knowing every detail necessary to pull them through.”

Eric Stajduhar, RN, BSN, CVRN-BC II,
Clinician level IV Registered Nurse, Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Lab