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Anyone who has looked up from a hospital bed knows that every smile and kind word matter. Anna Ruiz knows this and brings compassion for others to her work as a lead transporter at HealthAlliance Hospital. Anna is responsible for transporting patients from one area of the hospital to another, including those going to and from surgery and post-op, as well as those being admitted from the Emergency Department.
While Anna is moving patients through the halls, she tries to bond with them and help them overcome their nervousness about being in the hospital. "I just try to talk to them and let them know they're in good hands here, with their doctors and their nurses," she said. They are in good hands with Anna, too.
Anna started out in health care as a housekeeper, and learned to perform the duties of a patient transporter. "I always wanted to work in a hospital," she said. "It's busy and active." Anna came to UMass Memorial Health Care about five years ago, and she enjoys learning within the hospital environment. As a caregiver, she seeks out opportunities to develop professionally. After transporting a man who needed urgent medical attention (a "Code Blue"), Anna began to think about her own capabilities. So she took advantage of the hospital's free program to learn CPR. "It's a good skill for anyone to have in life," she said.
She loves meeting the variety of patients she transports—adults, seniors, and children. As a Fitchburg resident, Anna sometimes sees friends and family come into the hospital. "We see repeat patients, and they remember me," she said. "That helps them feel comfortable, as they know I will get them to the right destination." She says her fellow caregivers are like a family, too. Everyone knows they can depend on Anna to be prompt so that patients can be moved once, not twice, to get where they need to be. "It's a friendly environment and a good place to work," Anna said. "There is always an opportunity to learn."
Editor's Note: Anna recently accepted a new position as an electronic medical records specialist in Health Information Services. She continues to bring her positive outlook and desire to learn to her new role as a behind-the-scenes caregiver. We wish her all the best!