Healthcare Professional of the Month: Rick Janik, Airlift Northwest

Airlift Northwest flight nurses Rick Janik and Elise Chamberlain go through their daily check of gear on the company's Lear jet in their Juneau hanger last week.

What kind of nurse are you?


I am a Flight Nurse for Airlift Northwest in the Juneau Base.


How long have you been in the nursing field? How long in Juneau?

I started working in Emergency Departments in 1994. I moved to Juneau in 1999 to start with ALNW.


What made you choose nursing? Why your specific field?

I saw a flight team bring a child to the Level I Trauma center where I grew up during a career shadowing day. The flight nurse was riding the strecher performing CPR. He was brought into the operating room and met by the trauma team. After that moment I knew I wanted to do that job. I was drawn to the teamwork and dedication of all involved trying to save a life.


What is your favorite part of nursing? Feel free to be specific or generic in your response, as appropriate.

I like being able to help when people are critically ill or injured, not just the patient but also the staff at the refering facility and the family. I also enjoy teaching and mentoring to help people become more comfortable. My absolute favorite part though is when I get to meet a patient back home who may not have lived without the teamwork of EMS, the hosptials and Airlift Northwest to save a life.


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