Rita has a true impact on both employees and patients

Anonymous, Employee

During Sunshine Week in June, four Bronson patient care assistants were honored with the Sunshine Award. The annual award recognizes nursing assistants who work alongside Bronson’s nursing team to ensure patients have the best possible experience during their hospital stay.

Rita Benzenberg, one of the recipients of the Sunshine Award, was recognized by a co-worker who shares:

A nursing unit, like every complex and dynamic working environment, society and culture, requires its participants to interact with and relate to each other with respect and shared vision, if it has any hope to optimize the experience of patients, staff or adjunct visitors. Though rare, a single staff member on a nursing unit, through the empathic force of their attitude, work ethic and openness of heart, can change the course of a day, if not the very culture of the unit itself.

Rita Benzenberg, longtime Bronson employee and currently beloved Patient Care Assistant (PCA) in Bronson’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), is that rare member of a unit who has true impact on both employees and patients. This sets into motion a culture of positive quality that is hard to quantify but obvious to those that start the day knowing she is working with them.

For background, the PACU workflow combines high volume with intense throughput, where many patients move through quickly. These patients require the implementation of many quick tasks, have family members coming and going, and are often in pain or have other physical needs that need attention NOW! All of this in a stay that averages less than 2 hours. Many of these needs are reported to, delegated to, are in other ways handled by the invaluable PCAs. At any given time, the PCA could be asked to address the needs of 12 post-surgical patients…at once.

Rita Benzenberg handles these often-dizzying requests with a level of professionalism, patience, and efficiency, which is not only uncanny and impressive, but frankly humbling. To pick one example would not do justice or paint an accurate enough picture to impress upon the skill Rita executes on an average day in PACU, where an average of 40 post-surgical patients will flow through the unit in less than 12 hours.

One day, I secretly took note of Rita’s workload and her response to that workload. In the one hour I watched her, she recorded 10 blood sugars, applied 10 compression units, bladder scanned 4 patients and straight catheterized 3 of those patients, transported 3 patients to their cars after discharge, pulled the IVs on those 3 patients, answered countless questions from patients, families and nurses, made a pot of coffee, and generally held down the unit in its busiest hour. I lost track of the innumerable small comforts givens to patients and the tolerant prioritizing of the nurses relentless requests all while maintaining her unique and genuinely forbearing kindness. Again, it is humbling and endlessly impressive