Singing and joke telling aren’t part of the job description for a patient care assistant at Holy Redeemer Hospital. Don’t tell that to Fox Chase resident Bridget Jardel.
“I’m a people person and sometimes I break into song or tell a few jokes,” said Jardel, who works on the hospital’s respiratory and stroke unit. “Nobody wants to be in the hospital … I do my best to brighten my patients’ day and take their minds off of their situation.”
Last month, Jardel was named Holy Redeemer Hospital’s 2012 Employee of the Year. Her journey to this honor was a long and winding one.
After spending 10 years doing “a little bit of everything” at a local pizza shop, Jardel quit that job to care for her ailing mother. After her passing, she began thinking about a career in healthcare.
One of Jardel's sisters, a nurse, told her about an opening for a patient transport aide at Holy Redeemer Hospital. Jardel landed the job and, three years later, moved into a position with more direct patient care. In 2009, she became a patient care assistant – a position that involves such duties as checking vital signs and helping patients with their daily care.
During the Employee of the Year award ceremony, one presenter shared the following story:
“Bridget was caring for a patient who lived with his mother. During the patient’s hospital stay, his mother passed away leaving him with no home to return to. He was unable to live on his own, and when immediate placement could not be found, he was discharged to a homeless shelter for temporary housing.
“Bridget was so concerned about the patient that she continued to visit him at the shelter to ensure that he was safe and being cared for. During her visits, she would bring him his favorite dessert. She also did everything she could to ensure that he was comfortable in his new surroundings.
“Bridget continued to advocate for this patient and wouldn’t rest until a more permanent solution was found. She worked with a doctor to intercede and assist with placement to a nursing home. She went completely above and beyond her role of a patient care assistant while providing ongoing comfort and care.”
Jardel said that different patients require different approaches.
“Sometimes you need to know when to crack a joke and when to back off,” she said. “The best part of my job is when a patient or family member takes time to thank me for the job I did or for making them feel better. That makes it all worth it."
Information courtesy of Holy Redeemer Health System