Being a nurse makes Tina Schwichow grateful for every day.
The 46-year-old Johnsburg mother of three works in the emergency room at Centegra Hospital – McHenry. She also is a peripherally inserted central catheter nurse for Centegra Health System and teaches EMS students at McHenry County College.
Working in the emergency department can be stressful. For Schwichow, being part of a team is one of the best parts of the job.
“It’s teamwork,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better staff to work with. I feel safe working with the team. There’s always someone to help in a critical situation. You are never alone. Working together equals success.”
The emergency department has a way of bringing people together in trying times. Schwichow said her goal is always to help patients with mind, body and spirit.
“I’m honored anytime a patient asks me to pray with them,” she said. “It makes you appreciate life every day.”
The hardest part of working in the emergency department is dealing with death.
“You’re not just caring for the patient; you are caring for patient and their family,” Schwichow said. “You have to be that strength. That’s the toughest part. You go home and hug your kids and loved ones.”
Adam Kasprowicz, 31, of Gilberts, met Schwichow while taking an EMT certification course at MCC. He said he was immediately struck by her passion for what she was teaching.
“It was not only teaching – she would show why it was important in real life,” he said. “She has a really good way of making you feel comfortable with the information. You can tell how much she loves what she does.”
Kasprowicz was initially thinking about going into the fire service, but was inspired, in part by Schwichow, to seek a career in nursing.
Rob Schwichow, 40, emergency department director for Vista Health System in Waukegan, met his wife at a charity bachelor auction. She paid $150, he said. They hit it off and later got married. They’ve been married for almost 15 years, he said.
Rob Schwichow said his wife’s dedication to nursing is easy to see.
“She’s super-focused on learning everything she can about everything,” he said. “She’s so dedicated to taking care of patients. It’s amazing to see her in action.”
Rob Schwichow said his wife’s compassion, attention to detail and positive attitude make her a hero. But she doesn’t see it that way. She sees her job as a gift.
“I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do for a living,” Tina Schwichow said. “I love it.”