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.”