From Kitchen Aide to Patient Care Technician
Even as a child in Ethiopia, Kidist wanted to be a nurse, like her aunt. The college graduate came to the U.S. in her early 20s. “When you come here, you have to redo everything,” explains Kidist. “Supplies and procedures are different.” She arranged to have her college credits transferred to Carroll County Community College, where she planned to take a refresher course.
While working as a kitchen aide in the nursing home at Good Samaritan Hospital, Kidist learned from a coworker about a BACH-sponsored Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training.
She took the training and became a CNA on the rehabilitation unit. After taking a second training program with BACH to become a Patient Care Technician (PCT) she was transferred to a more highly skilled unit, the Cardio-Pulmonary Care Unit, which only hires CNAs who have earned their PCT. Kidist easily bridged the gap between the healthcare culture and practices in her homeland and those in her adopted country.
“BACH is a great program. It gave me the opportunity to achieve my goals,” says Kidist.
In a few years, with training, hard work, and determination, Kidist became a Registered Nurse and continued her career in Good Sam’s Cardio-Pulmonary Care Unit. “The best nurses are the ones that worked as a tech first,” says her manager, Kristina Gillis. “Kidist never forgets where she came from. She works side-by-side with the care team to be sure her patients get the best possible care. I believe that is what makes her a great nurse.”
This skilled and respected nurse now precepts newly hired nurses. “I pay close attention to skills that the preceptee has difficulty with and make sure we get patient cases that encompass these skills. I try to make them feel at ease as they become familiar with the unit culture,” says Kidist.