After working as an emergency room nurse for 10 years, Wendy Weirbach, BSN, RN, CEN, was looking for a change of pace. She went on to pursue a nursing position at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. She immediately fell in love with the job and decided she wanted to spend the remainder of her career at the theme park. We recently spoke with Wendy to learn about this unique nursing position and her experiences providing care for guests, superheroes and princesses alike!
Nursing Notes (NN): What are your typical day-to-day responsibilities as a nurse at Disneyland Resort?
Wendy Weirbach: I work as a manager in the Guest Health department. We cover all first aid and first responder calls for the entire resort. My job is to make sure my team of nurses and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have everything they need in order to care for our guests and support them in whatever way necessary. I respond to paramedic calls, handle guest concerns, and act as a liaison between my department and our partners.
NN: What is unique about working as a nurse at Disneyland and providing care for cast members and guests?
Wendy: This job is like no other! We get to operate in a first responder role and care for people of all ages with all types of medical concerns, from the most minor injuries that are “cured” with a sticker and a princess bandage, to a medical emergency that may require lifesaving intervention. Plus, not many people can say they take care of superheroes and Disney Princesses for a living!
NN: Can you tell us about “the magic” of working at Disneyland? What are the biggest highlights of being a nurse in this environment?
Wendy: The magic of working at Disneyland Resort is about being able to make someone’s day truly special. Generally, if we are interacting with a guest it is because something didn’t go as planned. The magic comes from being able to turn that situation around and help good come out of it.
An ice pack will work to help with a mouth injury, but a popsicle or ice cream is much more fun! A guest who was too weak to experience much of the park, but really wanted to meet their favorite character, might get a surprise visit in our cot room. Seeing the joy the guests experience is what makes it magical for us.
What we do and the services we provide make it possible for people with medical issues to enjoy a visit to Disneyland. It is an honor to be able to make their burden just a little bit lighter while they are here.
NN: What are some of the challenging aspects of this nursing position?
Wendy: The challenging aspects often come from the same places as what makes this job unique and fun. We respond in all weather conditions, to all locations, even if that is the top of Tarzan’s Treehouse carrying all our equipment. Often times, we are working in the midst of a fireworks show or music from a performance, so we have to be very adaptable!
NN: Can you tell us a little bit about holiday season at the park and how this impacts your responsibilities as a nurse?
Wendy: The holidays are a very special time at the park. Many guests come from out of town, which means we are often providing more information about facilities for further care in the area and educating them on all we can do to make their stay easier, from medication and medical equipment storage, to providing an area to rest. We try to identify each guest’s unique needs to let them know all that is available to help make their stay the best experience it can be.
NN: Can you share one of your most memorable experiences as a nurse at Disneyland?
Wendy: One of my first holiday seasons, I had the privilege of being involved in the Candlelight Procession & Ceremony, an annual tradition that Walt Disney started to celebrate the holidays and thank the local community. I was posted up at the top of the Main Street Train Station behind the choir, ready to respond if any cast members needed medical assistance. Sitting tucked up there hearing the narrator read the story of “The First Christmas” and listening to the Christmas carols, I just kept thinking, “Am I really getting paid for this?” It was something I will never forget.
To learn more about a career in nursing at the Disneyland Resort, visit disneycareers.com.
Disneyland Resort applauds the Campaign for Nursing, but is in no way affiliated with Johnson & Johnson or Nursing Notes.