Here it is…August of 2017. More than half of this year has already whizzed by. I’ve been reminiscing about past Augusts of my life, especially this past week. I knew that August 20th seemed familiar somehow, but couldn’t quite place its significance. Then, I remembered…It was on Wednesday, August 20, 1975, that I began my first job, and what an experience it was, at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank, which is now known, simply as, The Blood Center.
Now, you may ask, “How did you come to get this job and embark on this adventure”? I’m so glad you asked. Allow me to answer that question. You see, there was a time when I thought I wanted to be a nurse. If you read my earlier post about my heart surgery, you will remember that time of my life back in 1963. Back in those days, a child patient had one nurse who ministered to them during their entire hospital experience. I remember my nurse very fondly and she obviously loved her job. She was such an inspiration to me that I thought at the time that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up, “just like her”.
As I got older, though, I discovered new interests and talents, although I continued to tell everyone that I wanted to pursue nursing. As the time came closer for me to actually go that direction, my other interests, talents and passions consumed more and more of my time, until it was time for High School graduation, and I was still unsure which direction to go. I found out about a medical assistant school called “The Bryman School of Nursing” which was located right here in Houston. The school offered 3 different programs: Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Medical/Dental Receptionist. Since the Medical Assisting course was the closest one to nursing, I chose to enroll in that program. Interestingly enough, that program also began in August…the August after High School graduation, 1974. It was a 6-month course with a one month internship in a doctor’s office or laboratory. I loved this school and loved learning all of the medical terminology. The course was divided into two 3-month sections. The first section was doctor’s office and front office procedure. The second 3-month section was laboratory, X-Ray, phlebotomy, performing blood tests, CBC (Complete Blood Count), urinalysis testing, learning to identify surgical instruments by touch, etc. The ironic thing was that the school offered phlebotomy as an optional skill, which I didn’t opt for, having no idea that, within the year, that was exactly what I would be doing at work! I graduated with a 92 average from Bryman in February, 1975 and was assigned to a laboratory for my one month internship. I ended up loving the lab environment. At the Bryman School, there was a lady who was in charge of job placement and she began to send me on interviews at various doctors’ offices around the Houston Area. As I interviewed at these various places, a peculiar thing began to happen. It began to dawn on me that I really wasn’t cut out for the medical office environment! What does one do when this happens? Eventually, the job placement counselor sent me on an interview at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank to work on what was known as Hospital Mobiles. I interviewed with the supervisor there, we hit it off immediately, she hired me on the spot and I started this new adventure on Wednesday, August 20, 1975.