Milwaukee High School of the Arts
Year-round, first responders’ brave challenges so the rest of us may stay safe. In honor of their hard work and dedication, MPS Alumni would like to honor and celebrate these heroes for selflessly protecting and serving our communities. We honor the courage, commitment, and sacrifices of those in the fire service, law enforcement, and emergency medical services (EMS) communities, as well as our nation’s public servants. Join us in celebrating the Alumni “heroes among us” during these crucial times in our lives.
Job title - BSN, RNC-MNN Nursing Education and Professional Development Specialist
Aurora Sinai Medical Center
I graduated in 1994 from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts. I’ve worked as a Registered Nurse since 2000, first in Labor and Delivery/Women’s Health then later in Nursing Professional Development as an educator. My current hospital is Aurora Sinai, just down the road from the high school.
When our pandemic situation started, it felt a little bit panicky in the hospital. It felt like prepping for an event or a big show- so many details needed attention. We put in long hours to get everything figured out. Not only was there a lot of unknown about how the virus would impact us and how to provide the best care possible, there were also concerns about how to best conserve our resources while protecting our employees because we had no idea how long it would last. There is still uncertainty after three months, but now we have plans developed that we didn’t have before.
As time went on and we adjusted our work to what needed to be done, even if it wasn’t previously part of our job, it got easier and we could just focus on supporting each other and our patients. For example, my normal job is to teach classes of 24-50 people at a conference center several days per week- we can’t do that now. I found myself in scrubs again (plus a mask, gown, and goggles) ready to help wherever needed. I wasn’t scared for myself, but I was a little stressed about the possibility of getting family members sick. I changed out of my scrubs before getting home and cleaned up well before touching anything.
A lot of my time was spent training and supporting “redeployed” nurses from the operating room and other departments that had temporarily scaled back services. A lot of them were really scared to go into the regular hospital units, and even more nervous about our sickest patients. They bravely showed up, though, and became indispensable to patient care when needed. I was so proud of them.
At first I was a little jealous of friends and coworkers working from home but now I’m glad I was able to use my skills to help others and make meaningful connections with staff and patients I may not have otherwise met.
Now that we have a more stable situation, most of us are going back to our normal jobs, but with a lot of adjustments. A lot of the innovations put it place will change the way we work forever. We will keep working on finding new and better approaches to virtual meetings, education, and even doctor visits.
I am confident in our ability as a hospital to adapt to any new challenges, now and in the future. The teamwork and dedication of our whole team, no matter what they do, really make me even more proud to work here. I would welcome any family member or friend to Sinai, even now.
I was blessed with a great foundation as an MPS student, especially at MHSA, about embracing differences,fighting for equity, and using creativity, persistence, patience, and performance skills every day as a nurse. My love for Milwaukee and her people drives me every day. Thanks, Mr Valdes, for the opportunity to give back in this small way.
Rebecca (Rewolinski) Eberhardt , MHSA ‘94 Marquette ‘98 Biochemistry UWMilwaukee ‘00 Nursing
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