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A Career Worth Celebrating

These days, working at the same place for almost 50 years is tough to imagine. What’s even tougher to imagine is loving your job as much now as when you did when you started in 1972.

Vicky Blackman, Northside Hospital’s second-longest tenured employee, is living proof that it’s possible. Vicky retired on June 4 after 46 years working in the Special Care Nursery (NICU) and spent the last 23 years as a Unit Secretary.

Even with all that time, Vicky says she has never even come close to feeling burned out. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“I thank God every day for this wonderful job that has been a part of my life for so many years,” she says.

Northside was a very different place when Vicky was hired as an 18-year-old to work in our well-baby nursery, back in the days before we opened our NICU. She started as a Patient Care Tech and then moved on to Unit Secretary, where she has distinguished herself over the years by training all the Unit Secretaries in her department.

Vicky says what she has enjoyed most about Northside is interacting with the parents of the NICU patients. She is the first person they see when they arrive, and she loves welcoming them and answering any questions they may have.

She enjoys taking part in the unit’s Premie Reunions and explains how amazing it is to see a 2-pound baby who has grown into a healthy, happy child. Vicky also enjoys when moms and dads come back to visit with her after their babies have been discharged.

While Vicky made a big impression on patients and their families, she also was a star to the physicians and nurses she worked alongside for more than four decades.

“Vicky has been a dedicated, caring unit secretary, providing our families and staff with service excellence for many years,” said Dr. Ken Kupke of Neonatology Associates of Atlanta.

“While working in a busy and sometimes stressful environment, she has maintained a high level of competence with her cheerful disposition and smile. We will truly miss Vicky. We congratulate her on a well-deserved retirement and wish her all the best in the years to come.”

Vicky says she plans to spend her retirement crafting with a life-long friend she met at work and selling her handcrafted tissue box covers and nutcrackers at craft shows in the metro area. In addition, she will spend time with her family, including her two daughters who live in Tennessee. Both of those ladies, incidentally, were Northside Babies!

“This hospital,” says Vicky, “is the best hospital.”

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An Inspired Journey

 

For many Northside nurses, their journey to a career in health care is often inspired by a deeply personal event. It could the loss of a loved one or even their own struggle with a serious disease or chronic condition. In almost every case, watching the impact made by the health care professionals they came into contact with left a profound impression.

So it is with Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse Carson Wells, who joined the Northside Cancer Institute a little more than two years ago.

“My grandmother had multiple myeloma, and she wasn’t a candidate for transplant,” she said. “I saw her journey and I saw how the nurses cared for her and made a difference, and it inspired me to be a BMT nurse and make a difference for other patients.”

Now, she’s doing just that and it’s an opportunity she says she will never take for granted.

“It’s such an honor to work for the Northside Cancer Institute,” says Carson. “The Cancer Institute is nationally recognized and has some of the best survival rates in the country, to be a part of that is incredibly rewarding.”

Carson is also grateful for the “Northside Difference,” especially when it comes to how patients are treated and how our health care teams work together to achieve the best outcomes.

“I think that Northside puts a big emphasis on patient and family-centered care,” Carson says. “In the BMT unit, we have a group of physicians that work with each family. We try to pair physicians with families that have matching personalities, and it makes a big difference in the care.”

Carson also believes that considering a career at Northside Hospital’s Cancer Institute would be a smart move, given that “we have a state of the art facility” that is continuing to grow. In addition, she added that the Institute is “a nationally recognized cancer unit, so we do clinical trials and serve a large community of people. We have a great team of physicians and practitioners.”

With so much upside, what type of person does Carson think might not do well at Northside?

“Someone that doesn’t want to be a team player. Teamwork makes the dream work in the BMT Unit! That’s the motto that we live by. We’re a team that’s almost like a family.”

For Carson, being part of that family means being supported every day and encouraged to build a better future.

“I work with some great people who have given me opportunities.” says Carson. “They recognize the achievements of their nurses, and they want to help you grow as a professional and as a person. They open doors for me!”

See what doors a career at Northside can open for you and view our open BMT Nursing roles here.

 

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A New Space For Northside

 

This is a big week for us because we’re launching our Northside Careers Instagram page!

It’s a new way for us to share photos with anyone who is interested in joining the Northside Family. We’re excited and working hard to make sure our posts will mean something special to our employees – and our prospective employees. What can you expect to see in this new space? First, you’ll be able to keep up with any of our career-related events and get a jump on all of our latest career opportunities.

You’ll also see highlights that feature our team members since another one of our goals for this page is to showcase Northside’s unique culture and the people who create and sustain it every day.

You’ll get inside looks at our workspaces and behind-the-scenes photos and videos that depict daily life in the Northside Family.

And, you’ll see posts from our recruiters that can help you polish your job search skills and, we hope, help lead you to one of the incredible health care careers we offer here in North Georgia.

You won’t want to miss a single post, so be sure to follow us at https://www.instagram.com/northsidecareer/

 

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
The Comic Cat

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. We hope you enjoy seeing and reading stories by our team members, such as the one from Marci, who details her loving and humorous relationship with her cat. Each tale is genuine and heartfelt and we hope they give you a glimpse into the kind of people who are building our growing health care system.

Marci’s story: “Gisele Biel ( AKA, Gigi or G) is such a funny little girl. Gisele and her sister, Wilhemina flew here from Missouri 6.5 years ago. Their brother, Bing Crosby went to Hollywood. Gisele loves tummy rubs and hugs.

Whenever she thinks I have left her, she starts crying and carrying her favorite toy, a rubber band around the house.

The activity that gives her the greatest joy is jumping in the oval spa tub ( without water, of course), lay on her side and “request” that I spin her around the tub. She squeals with happiness and becomes so dizzy that she falls over when she tries to stand.”

 

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
A Roadside Rescue

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. We hope you enjoy seeing and reading stories by team members such as Yen. Each tale is genuine and heartfelt, told directly by the employee. They will give you a glimpse into the kind of people who are building our growing health care system.

Yen’s story: “Both Bear and Pocket were rescues from the Forsyth County Humane Society. Tank was a different rescue story.

On Dec. 23, 2016, we found Tank on the side of the road, abandoned and looking for food. He was terribly emaciated and unable to support himself.

We took him home and provided a warm bed, some food and prayed that he would make it through the night. The next morning was the true start of a new life for him.

Even with his shy personality, he let us feed and bath him. To our surprise and relief, Tank was mostly in good shape except his low weight, about 4 pounds.

Over the past year, he has grown to 9.5 pounds and has stolen our hearts.  He remains the most loving and sweetest rescue I’ve ever had, considering the condition and possibly the story before that life-changing night in December.”  

 

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A Cancer-Fighting Career

 

Northside Oncology Nurse Tiffany Brooks has a lot to look forward to. And she can’t wait for what’s coming. Tiffany recently celebrated her first year at Northside, and it was an important anniversary for her.

I wish I had started my career at Northside!” she told us. “I moved here from Tennessee and I didn’t realize how big Northside was in the oncology world.”

It didn’t take Tiffany long to see the other differences that come along with a career at Northside.

“When I worked at other companies, they wanted you to do your best, but here I’m actually provided the resources for me to be my best,” she said.

Becoming an oncology nurse has been a very personal mission for Tiffany, who is proud to now pursue her goals at Northside.

“I chose oncology because my father had lung cancer,” Tiffany shared. “I took care of him while I was in nursing school, and I saw how it was when he went through chemo and what he went through. I feel like by me taking care of these patients, I can give them a little bit of hope, kind of like what I did with my dad.”

With the support of her managers and colleagues, Tiffany believes her career potential as a Northsider is limitless.

“Northside doesn’t want me to be stagnant, they want me to excel and be the best RN I can be, not just the best oncology RN,” Tiffany told us.

For anyone who is looking to join the Oncology team at Northside, Tiffany believes they need to be ready to work hard so they can take advantages of the many opportunities to grow and advance.

“If you’re someone who is complacent in your career, Northside might not be the place for you,” she said.

In addition to the collaborative environment and the career potential, Tiffany has two other things she says make working at Northside such a daily treat.

“My patients! And my staff!” she said. “I love the people that I work around and work with, and I love my patients.”

At Northside, one of our goals is to make sure employees like Tiffany are able to thrive. If you’re ready to join a team that empowers your growth every day, check out the openings we have on our Oncology team.

 

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
One Lucky Cat

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. Each is genuine, heartfelt and comes straight from employees such as Sherrie, whose dog Wilma showed some true Northside compassion when she helped save the life of a sick and abandoned cat. These stories will give you a real glimpse into the kind of people who are behind our growing health care system.

Sherrie’s story: “My dog Wilma found Fred the cat almost 3 years ago under a bush in our yard. Fred was about 4 weeks old and sick.

As you can see he is a Lavender Point Siamese.

We don’t know how he got in our yard, but if Wilma had not found him he would have surely died. Wilma and Fred are crazy about each other.”

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
Meant To Be

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. We hope you enjoy seeing and reading stories by employees like Mandy. Each is genuine and heartfelt, and give you a glimpse into the kind of people who are behind our growing health care system.

Mandy’s story: “My husband, John, is a police offer and noticed a little dog at the police station one day. He sent me a picture of him curled up in his jacket.

I asked him what he was going to do with him. John told me he had called Animal Control. I asked him to bring him home and we would try to find the owners. Dexter was wearing a collar with numbers from where he received his vaccinations. I was able to find the owner. We met with him and reluctantly gave Dexter over.

That night around 10 p.m., John received a call from an officer at the station. The officer said the dog was back. We went to the station and picked up Dexter.

We spoke to the owners again, but they no longer wanted to deal with him. So he became ours!”

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
Adoption is the Answer

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. Each of the stories, such as this one from Judy, a nurse at Northside Hospital, is genuine, heartfelt and told in the voices of our employees. They will give you a glimpse at the kind, thoughtful people who make up our growing health care system.

Judy’s story: “I have always been a pet person, and even as a kid my family adopted from shelters. There are so many reasons to adopt. The most important reason is that you save a life and give the animal a chance to learn true unconditional love.

My true passion is beagles. I am especially devoted to saving beagles from captivity and those who might try to take advantage of their natural trusting nature.

Please consider helping to break the cycle of pet overpopulation by adopting and bringing the kinds of unconditional love only animals can provide into your home.”

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Northside has “Pawtential”:
Finding Lois

 

May is National Pet Month, and we wanted to do something that recognizes the impact our pet family makes on the lives of our Northside Hospital family members and also showcase their contributions to the work/life balance we strive for at Northside. We hope you enjoy seeing and reading tales from employees such as Neal, a recruiter at Northside Hospital. Each of them is genuine and heartfelt, and give you a glimpse into the kind of people who are behind our growing health care system.

Neal’s story: “My wife, Jessica Partadiharja, and I both are employees of Northside. When we first moved into our home, we decided to browse the animal shelter to look at dogs one Saturday afternoon.

Not once did we think we would actually become Dog Parents when we decided to make this trip. As we looked at all the dogs and how energetic they all were, we noticed this one puppy who was just standing there looking around at everyone and not barking at anyone or really doing anything, for that matter.

She was shy and calm and that is exactly what we liked about her and that is why she caught our eye. We spent some time with her and walked her around the shelter and little did we know that we were falling in love with her as we spent more and more time with her.

We decided to go home because we did not think we could be dog owners considering we just moved into our home and we had a lot of other things to worry about at the time. The more we discussed the idea of owning a dog, the more we realized how sad we were that we did not take her home with us that day.

The next weekend we went back to the rescue, specifically planning to adopt her. The shelter owners looked at us with concerned faces and at that moment I thought she had already been adopted. They said didn’t bring her to the shelter that weekend because they didn’t think anyone would adopt her.

We asked that they bring her in  and said that we were positive we would adopt her and provide her with a loving home. A few hours later they brought her to us and we have loved her ever since.

We now wonder how we ever lived without our little Lois J!”