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Mario Rosario describes his parents as hardworking and very humble. “They always taught me it doesn’t matter what you do, you give it 100%,” said Rosario. “Whether you’re flipping burgers or cleaning toilets, you’re helping people and somebody will benefit from it.”
Clearly, the 32-year-old Swedish Hospital Emergency Department (ED) patient care technician took that advice to heart. One of the many team members we celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month, Rosario moved to the United States from Puerto Rico in 2016 when he said the timing felt right to look for new opportunities.
After working for a bit in a restaurant, Rosario applied for a position with Environmental Services at Swedish Hospital and immediately felt he found a good fit. Rosario was a certified EMT in Puerto Rico and had always enjoyed helping people. He began cleaning in the ED, and his skills and positive attitude were immediately recognized by Kim Leslie and others who encouraged him to join the ED team.Working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has obviously been challenging, but Rosario relishes the opportunity to help patients, and particularly his ability to connect with other Hispanics who may not speak English.“We have translators, but some of the nurses and doctors prefer having someone who can translate right in the room, and the patients feel more comfortable talking to a real person,” said Rosario. “I can feel their relief and comfort when I start talking to them in Spanish.”
Rosario plans to continue his education and go back to school for nursing. “I’ve been out of school for years, so it’s a little scary, but I really want to continue my career and continue helping people,” he said. “The smile, the thank-you that you get from grateful patients really makes you feel good and that your efforts are worth it.”
While most of his family is still living in Puerto Rico, Rosario said he enjoys living in Chicago and experiencing the diversity in the city and at Swedish Hospital. “I really love working at Swedish. I love how well our team communicates with one another, and they have become like another part of my family.”
“I’ve always been curious about other ethnicities, cultures and religions, and I’ve found so much joy exploring all of that here,” he added.