For health care workers, Thanksgiving is not a holiday

[WCCO-TV & KMSP-TV, November 24, 2022] As families across the country gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, health care and EMS workers are on alert as hospitals in the Twin Cities continues to see a surge in RSV cases and other respiratory illnesses.


Dr. Jon Fuerstenberg, lead intensivist at Allina Health’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s ICU, is spending part of the holiday on the job. But he says it's all part of a days work.

"For the most part, it's a normal day," said Dr. Fuerstenberg. "The ICU is where we take care of the sickest patients, so we have to have a full staff regardless of the day."

With families coming in to spend time with their loved ones in the hospital, staff find the time to celebrate the holiday away from home.

"There's a little bit of camaraderie on the holidays," said Dr. Fuerstenberg. "For example, the nurses tend to have feasts that they put together."

Renee Rosenberg is an operations manager for Allina Health EMS. She’ll be on the road in the south metro meeting EMS crews as they respond to 911 calls. Allina Health EMS’s therapy dog, Evie, will be traveling with her to greet the crews on the street and help keep spirits high during the holiday.

"She is here for our paramedics and EMTs. She works with myself and our other handler when we are on duty," said Rosenberg. "We get calls to households where families are having their holiday, so we go into a full audience of people as we go help their family member who is sick or injured."

WCCO-TV, Fox 9 and KARE 11 all reported on health care workers on the job for Thanksgiving.

Posted on November 24, 2022 in Allina Health EMS

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