By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, September 2018
Janet Loseke knows what she likes – working with patients.
Loseke has worked at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) since 1973. During that time, she’s worked in various CCH departments before becoming director of acute care, intensive care and the infusion center in 2007.
But her love of nursing always comes back to the patients and their bedsides.
“I love nursing and I mean ‘at the bedside nursing’,” Loseke said. “I love working with patients and families, talking to them, listening to their stories and seeing that what I am doing truly is making a difference.”
It was this desire to make a difference that led Loseke to a career in health care, along with a little help from her aunt.
“I enjoyed and found great fulfillment in helping others,” Loseke said. “But initially I wanted to become a nurse because I had an aunt who was a nurse and she has always been a role model for me.”
Loseke made her health care dreams a reality by first becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Over the years, she continued her education in the nursing field – at Methodist School of Nursing where she got a nursing diploma and then Creighton University where she got her BSN.
While at Creighton, Loseke also became interested in IV therapy and went on to become certified in that field as well.
As Loseke worked toward her educational goals, she had the support of her CCH supervisors. They helped her adjust her work schedule to accommodate her schooling as she worked part time while at Methodist and then worked the night shift while attending Creighton.
“They allowed me to work various days/shifts so I could attend class and allowed me to do some of my project work at our hospital,” Loseke said. “The tuition reimbursement also certainly helped in making my dream a reality.”
CCH’s leadership continues to support Loseke’s ongoing education by allowing her to attend national conferences to maintain her certification. Loseke also continues to learn through her work at CCH, which she thinks provides a unique learning environment for nurses.
“I feel, in a smaller hospital, a nurse is exposed to a wide variety of diagnosis and conditions,” she said.
In her work at CCH, Loseke said she was also “blessed to have several mentors along the way.”
Now Loseke is a mentor herself. As a director, she manages a staff of more than 50 employees – and her team mentors a lot of new and less experienced nurses.
“It is one of my greatest joys to watch those staff members develop into strong nurses who critically think and hone their assessment skills, then become engaged in process improvement,” Loseke said.
Loseke also loves the fact that her position allows her to connect staff members to the resources they need to do their jobs well. She likes talking with them to make sure they have what they need and that their ideas are heard.
“Listening to the perspective of the staff who are actually at the bedside is what drives me to help in any way I can to make this a great place to work,” she said.
According to Loseke, CCH is an even better place to work now than when she started there 45 years ago.
“When I started, there was a great division between departments, physicians and
nurses, and even between RNs, LPNs and aides. I don’t see that now,” she said. “There’s been a huge difference in the teamwork approach which has been remarkable to see.”
Though the working environment at CCH has changed over Loseke’s career – the immense satisfaction nursing gives her remains the same.
“Patients and families remember their nurse and I still am approached by people, many years after I have had the opportunity to care for them, who continue to thank us,” she said. “It warms my heart. That is what I have gotten out of my career, and it’s been very fulfilling.”
To learn more about Loseke, or the services offered at Columbus Community Hospital, visit www.columbushosp.org.