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Nursing assistants provide essential care and cherished companionship

June 24, 2020

Recent world events have drawn a spotlight on healthcare workers, which is well deserved and appreciated. In honor of National Nurse Assistants Week, June 18 through 24, we are expanding that spotlight to introduce you to healthcare workers beyond doctors and nurses. We’d like to introduce you to our valued NCH nurse assistants, whom we call Patient Care Techs or PCTs.

PCTs work with nurses to help patients with daily living needs and other healthcare tasks. It’s a “newer” profession than nursing, created to support U.S. Army nurses during World War I.

NCH currently has 280 PCTs throughout nearly every department of the hospital. If you or a loved one has been admitted to NCH, no doubt you were cared for by a PCT or two during your stay. We asked some to talk about their jobs.

Miguel Brillo-Cruz
Patient Care Tech – Cardiac Renal 25
Six years at NCH

What is your favorite part of your job? “Working in such a supportive team environment.”

How has COVID-19 changed your job? “Working with so many staff members from the Labor Pool has showed me how big NCH really is, and I’m happy to work for a hospital that can still do it’s best to support their staff during such trying times.” Name one NCH employee that you admire and tell us why. “Caitlyn Snook. COVID-19 has taken a lot from her and her family. But she is still able to stay incredibly strong, supportive and positive.”

Erlinda P. Lombos
Patient Care Tech Pulmonary – 9S
16 years at NCH

What is your favorite part of your job? “Everything, I enjoy my work.”

How has COVID-19 changed your job? “COVID-19 has reminded me how important it is to be careful taking care of all my patients.”

Name one NCH employee that you admire and tell us why. “Cathleen Nesheiwat. She is very helpful and willing to help anytime when you need it the most.”

Satish Mehta
Patient Care Tech – Float Pool
12 years at NCH

What is your favorite part of your job? “Daily, I meet new patients and I love putting a smile on their faces. Whether it is bringing their food to them or shaving or helping them call a friend or family, it is these small gestures that make their stay worthwhile.”

How has COVID-19 changed your job? “COVID-19 has brought new challenges to all aspects of healthcare. Every healthcare worker has gone above and beyond to adjust to the pandemic. In the time I have worked with COVID patients, it is extremely saddening that the patients are not able to see their friends and family, so I try to make their stay at NCH as comfortable as possible.” Name one NCH employee that you admire and tell us why. “I have had the pleasure to work with several terrific people in my years at NCH. If I had to pick one person that stands out, I would pick Beth Thelen. I worked with Beth from 2012 to 2019 and we always made a great team. She is also a great listener and very patient with everyone she works with.”

Sonal Patel
Patient Care Tech – Orthopedics
Three years at NCH                                                    

“I am a certified PCT with over 25+ years of experience and am highly dedicated to my employer and patients. I am a team player, reliable and compassionate about my job.”

How has COVID-19 changed your job? “Collaboration and teamwork among doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers has been excellent and on display throughout the pandemic.”

What is your favorite part of your job? “Inter-professional collaboration, and helping each other improve the quality of care for patients.”

Sonal is pictured third from right.

Olga Smishko
Patient Care Tech – Medical Neurology 7S
15 years at NCH

What is your favorite part of your job? “Seeing improvements in my patients.”

Carolyn “Mallory” Ziolo
Emergency Care Tech – Pediatric Emergency Department
Nine years at NCH

What is your favorite part of your job? “Helping care for kids, and all the things I learn on a daily basis. You never know who or what ailment is going to walk through the door!”

How has COVID-19 changed your job? “Although there were reduced hours in my home department, I’ve been fortunate enough to help the Adult ER, which has given me an insight on a different patient population.”

Name one NCH employee that you admire and tell us why. “I know it says one, but that would be hard to pick because I work with a great group of techs: Erica, Teresa, Joanne and Elizabeth.”

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