Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Staffers share their 'What's Your Why' stories

For most of us, health care is a calling. We asked our team members to share the inspiration behind their careers -- here’s what a few of our co-workers had to say:
Courtney Hemphill 
Ferrell-Duncan Clinic 

“In 2002, my grandmother, who had Parkinson’s and dementia, fell at home and was taken to a local hospital. She developed pneumonia and while she was there, her condition deteriorated. The family had been with her several days. As time went on, she had less and less interaction with the family.

There was one day that I had called to check with my grandfather to see how she was doing and the nurse picked up the phone and she said he had gone to the cafeteria for coffee. I told her I’d try again later and she said, ‘Well, wait a minute.’ She put me on hold for just a second and then my grandmother was on the phone. She had not talked for several days and in that moment I was able to ask how she was doing and if she was in any pain. I was able to check on her and tell her we loved her. That was the last conversation she had with anyone.

If that nurse hadn’t taken the time to stop for a moment, even though my grandmother hadn’t been talking to anyone, I would have never been able to say goodbye to her. So, because of that moment, that was the one thing that said to me, ‘OK, you like to help people, so this is what you need to do.’ I always knew I wanted to help people and it was just the little push to send me in the right direction.”

Kelly Comstock 
Senior Adult Psychiatry 

“Back when 9/11 happened, I was a travel agent and on that day we had some clients who were supposed to be on one of those planes. After it happened, we had numerous phone calls from different individuals just trying to get home. We had clients who were stranded in North Carolina and they were talking to me and I just felt very helpless. As the year progressed, the travel business was really hard and I just had a burden on my heart that I needed to give back. So on Sept. 16, 2002, I walked in and started my first day at Oxford HealthCare and I started giving back. I was there for three years. A friend of mine worked at Cox North. I applied and now I work in the psychiatric unit here at Cox North. Every day when I come to work, I really feel that this is my calling.

There’s nothing like it when a family comes up to you and gives you a hug and says thank you. In other industries you don’t have that. When you see a patient who has all the gloom and despair and when they start to leave they hug you and say thank you; to me, that is the most rewarding thing that I could ever even ask for.”