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Mark Taylor was 18 years old, had just graduated high school and really wanted to land a job at Methodist Hospital.
Every week, he’d drive from Mooresville to Indianapolis to check in. Any openings? Any jobs? Anything coming up?
“I came up here once a week and bugged them about it. Pretty soon, they got to calling me by name,” says Taylor, equipment and supply coordinator at IU Health Methodist. “And then, one week, they just said, ‘We have something for you.’”
He walked into Methodist as a surgery orderly, taking patients to and from surgery. That was October of 1972 – 45 years ago.
It was tough to get on at Methodist, all those years ago. It was a coveted place to work, but Georgette (George) Spitzer had proven herself.
After working as a unit secretary at another city hospital, she was hired at Methodist in 1985 to work in critical care as a unit secretary on nights. Within months, she was moved to neuro critical care as unit secretary on days.
She brought compassion, kindness and order to the units. When an opening arose for an equipment and supply coordinator in late 2001, Spitzer applied and landed the job. She’s given 35 years to Methodist.
“We’re the type of employees you can’t get rid of,” she says.
And nor would the hospital want to. Judi Jacobi-Mowry, a critical care pharmacy specialist at Methodist, calls Taylor and Spitzer irreplaceable.
Both are set to retire within 12 to 18 months.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do without them,” Jacobi-Mowry says. “If you need something, they just know how to get it.”
Taylor’s and Spitzer’s jobs are to make sure all specialty supplies and equipment are stocked in critical care units – cardiac and neuro.
Tubing, pillows, bed trays, IV poles, EKG cables, chairs in rooms, transport monitors, the list goes on and on and on.
They take inventory each day and order thousands of supplies and pieces of equipment each year. They also are responsible for repairs of equipment, too.
“We’re like the Radar O’Reillys (“M*A*S*H character) of critical care,” says Taylor, who in between his first job in surgery and this job worked several others at Methodist, including at the copy center, print shop and dock. “If it’s needed, call Mark, call Georgette. We can get it for you.”
“And if we don’t know, we know who to call,” Spitzer says.
Looking back, on the 80 years between them, would they do it all over again?
“Oh yeah. When I came here, that was my idea of staying here until I retired,” Taylor says. “I’m not much for change.”
“Yes. I’d absolutely do it all over again,” Spitzer says.
And what’s the best part about their jobs? Making a difference, they say.
“Just making sure the patients have what they need,” Taylor says.
“I get it from another perspective,” says Spitzer. “I know a lot of what the patients go through, being the unit secretary. And think, if we didn’t have the supplies, the nurses and doctors couldn’t do their jobs.”
-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Benbow via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.