An ED nurse's philosophy on patient care

DAISY award for Rosenburg

It takes determination, skill, and perseverance to work in emergency medicine. It’s something all too familiar for staff nurse Jan Rosenberg, a former collegiate wrestler.

“I wrestled in college and studied nursing at the same time, a lot of people told me that wouldn’t be possible,” he says.

One of the latest winners of the DAISY Award, Rosenberg was nominated after a display of leadership and compassion while working in the Emergency Department (ED) at UI Hospitals & Clinics.

Working with empathy

His nominator shared their experience with Rosenberg after their mother arrived at the ED with flu-like symptoms. It was then that the mother’s heart stopped, and while the staff managed to resuscitate her, the moment left the family shaken.

“During one of the scariest moments of our lives, we found comfort in Jan’s ability to keep us calm and to give us the hope that we so desperately needed,” the nomination letter reads.

They say Rosenberg quickly began to explain the situation: their mother suffered a massive pulmonary embolism, a blockage in one of the lungs’ arteries.

What happened next, Rosenberg says was driven by his empathy for the patient’s family.

“I asked myself, ‘If I was sitting in that chair, being a family member, what are things that I would want?’” Rosenberg says.

Taking that question to heart, he arranged for a priest to come pray with the family. They were impressed as he worked quietly, giving them space while also doing what’s best for his patient.

“It can be really stressful if you’re a family member and you see tons of medication drips being hung,” Rosenberg says. “It could be bags of fluids, or it could be an important high alert medication. So, trying to work diligently while still explaining to them what I was doing was something I thought was really important.”

Rosenberg also impressed the family when he explained treatments directly to her mother, despite the woman being unconscious. Rosenberg once again imagined himself in the family’s situation, prioritizing respect for his patient.

From the mat to the bedside

A former college athlete turned coach, Rosenberg understands the benefits of working hard, priding himself on proving his naysayers wrong.

“I’m going to try every day to get a little bit better, so that I can eventually reach all my goals,” Rosenberg says.

Rosenberg’s goals as a nurse are lofty. He aims to become a flight nurse or lead a team in some type of management role. He says going above and beyond is engrained in the mindset of the ED team.

“I was almost shocked in the sense that I didn’t go looking to win the DAISY Award,” Rosenberg said.

For Rosenberg, winning the DAISY Award happens when you’re putting patients first and focusing on simply doing the right thing.