Robert Bergman, RN, a staff nurse on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), died unexpectedly Dec. 10 at the age of 45. A respected mentor, teacher and leader, he is remembered best by colleagues for his larger than life personality, his keen sense
of humor and his positive energy. This would have been his 25th year at the MGH.
“His wit, compassion and love of nursing will be greatly missed. He was a leader on the unit and above all a true patient advocate,” says Sandra Muse, RN, SICU nursing director.
Bergman began his career at the MGH as a student intern on White 8 – a surgical/trauma unit at the time – and later was hired as a full-time staff member. Harriet Nugent, RN, of Clinical Nursing Services, worked with Bergman for eight years and says he was a treasure to his patients.
“He was an amazing preceptor and mentor for younger nurses. He was always teaching and caring for his patients in an expert manner, maintaining high standards for himself and his students. I can only imagine the void he has left in the MGH SICU,” says Nugent.
“Rob elevated the standard of care,” says Nick Digiovine, RN, SICU. “He put the patient first and their comfort above all. I feel blessed I spent seven months under his guidance. Not only did he become a mentor but also a friend whom I could always count on to talk all things Disney. I will miss him, his warm personality and his laugh.”
Aside from his work at the MGH, Bergman served as a travel nurse, which took him to destinations all over the country. Traveling was a passion for Bergman and his personal trips included visits to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Antarctica, two African safaris and 23 cruises, one of which was a cruise to Nova Scotia he organized for seven MGHers.
“He had a way of making people feel special and brought out the best in them,” says Nugent. “Every year, for more than 20 years, he helped organize a summer party at my home for our fellow nurses. He would bring homemade cookies, create the menu and do all of the cooking on the grill. He spent time inquiring about each person’s family and bringing us up to date about his family and his amazing travels. Rob’s personality was infectious.”
A resident of Lunenburg, Mass., Bergman was born Oct. 14, 1968 in nearby Leominster. He received his Bachelor of Science in nursing from Fitchburg State College in 1990, his master’s degree in nursing administration and management from the University of Massachusetts -Worcester in 1994 and later attended Clark University, where he earned his master’s in business administration.
Bergman is survived by his father, Richard A. Bergman; his siblings, Peter Bergman, Pamela Pickett, Barbara Bergman and David Bergman; and eight nephews and nieces. Funeral services were held Dec. 17. A memorial service at the MGH will be held at 1 pm, Jan. 16 in the MGH Chapel.
Read more articles from the 01/10/14 Hotline issue.