Jeanne M. O’Brien

Title: Secretary
Company: EMS Museum
Location: Tacoma, Washington, United States

Jeanne O’Brien, Secretary at EMS Museum, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Health Care Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in emergency and intensive care health services and museum curatorship.

Since 2009, Ms. O’Brien has provided superior service as secretary on the board of directors of the EMS Museum, a premier a volunteer-led organization that collects, preserves and shares the history of emergency medical response in the United States in hopes of inspiring future professionals, operating a virtual museum and producing traveling exhibitions that tour the country every year. Its collections house over 300 years of history that covers the development of pre-hospital care in the United States, North America and around the world.

Following obtaining a degree in zoology from Iowa State University in 1971, Ms. O’Brien earned a diploma as a registered nurse (RN) from St. Joseph School of Nursing in 1974. She subsequently pursued coursework in general studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska from 1979 to 1981 and continued her education with a Bachelor of Science in 2000 and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2002.

Professionally, Ms. O’Brien excelled as a nationally registered emergency medical technician-paramedic from 1980 to 2003, with the advanced cardiovascular life support affiliate faculty in Washington State from 1990 to 2003, a pediatric advanced life support instructor from 1994 to 2003, a senior emergency medical technician instructor in Washington State from 1990 to 2005 and a pre-hospital trauma life support instructor and trainer from 1983 to 2009. Ms. O’Brien held certifications in advanced cardiovascular life support and basic cardiac life support from 1978 to 2021, a Hawaii nursing license from 2008 to 2021 and a Washington nursing license from 1978 to the present.

Ms. O’Brien has served as head nurse with the intensive care unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska; paramedic coordinator with the Omaha Fire Division; director of the pre-hospital education and training program with Creighton University; and numerous positions in health and emergency care supervision in Washington State over the course of four decades. In addition, she has contributed articles to professional publications and prospered as a photographer with Getty Images. Ms. O’Brien’s professional accolades include Instructor of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Department of Health, as well as the Instructor of the Year and President’s Achievement Award from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.

Ms. O’Brien attributes her success to her family, particularly her parents and her siblings for their support and encouragement. Ms. O’Brien became involved in her profession when she was a candy striper at 14 years old at a local hospital. She believed that taking care of people was her calling. When she graduated from high school after working at the hospital, she realized that she didn’t want to be a nurse. However, she changed her mind once she went to nursing school for a few years. When she actually became an Intensive Care Unit nurse, she was asked to train paramedics, but she had no experience. However, she decided to learn it and now, 30 years later, she has no regrets.

As a career highlight, Ms. O’Brien mentions traveling to Alaska as a visiting lecturer, she was able to experience dog sledding and take the Skagway train to White Pass. To her, it was the most unforgettable experience of her career. Moreover, she believes her greatest achievement is the people that she taught who are now able to share the knowledge and skills that she imparted to them with others. In the coming years, Ms. O’Brien hopes to continue her work with the EMS Museum to preserve the legacy of emergency services work. Additionally, she also plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren while enjoying retirement.

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