A smiling woman

A Journey Worth Taking

What happens when you pair a dedicated and compassionate Northside Hospital employee with a caring, insightful and insistent mentor? In the case of Northside’s Christie H., you get a registered nurse who is now proud to be an integral part of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Residency Program.

Christie’s story actually started in August 2000, when she joined Northside Hospital’s Environmental Services team. Unsure of where she wanted to go in her career, Christie had never even considered working in patient care. Becoming a nurse wasn’t on her radar, either.

However, there was something about being at Northside that Christie says resonated with her right away. Maybe it was her supportive and encouraging teammates and the way they treated each other. Maybe it was seeing what a huge difference we made for the patients who came through our doors.

Whatever it was eventually motivated Christie to take advantage of a CNA/Patient Care Tech training program Northside offered. Once she started, Christie was amazed at how much she enjoyed it, and how good she was at it.

She worked in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Labor & Delivery before making her way to BMT. She had found her calling – or so she thought.

Once in the BMT unit, Christie started working with Tricia C., a staff Nurse who has been with Northside Hospital since September 2001. Tricia became a mentor to Christie, and told her she should consider nursing school.At the time, though, Christie was happy being a CNA. She believed nursing school probably wasn’t for her. Tricia knew better, and as good mentors do, she kept gently pushing Christie toward the goal, guiding and encouraging her along the way.

“Tricia saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” Christie said later.

Turns out that Tricia was on to something and, soon, so was Christie. After nearly 12 years as a Patient Care Tech, Christie applied to complete her pre-requisites.

Once she finished them at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Christie went on to Nursing school at Chamberlain College of Nursing. She graduated in 2017 and entered the BMT RN Residency Program in August 2017.

When she looks back today, Christie is somewhat amazed by her journey and thrilled she took it. She is still surrounded and motivated by caring and supportive colleagues, and she loves the impact she’s making every day. She’s also forever grateful to her mentor, Tricia.

As with any health care career, there can be tough days. The hardest part about the job for Christie is when patients have bad outcomes because, in nearly every case, Christie finds herself wishing she could do more.

In spite of that, when her shift ends and she heads home to spend time with her 2-year-old, Christie is always thankful for the people who make the Northside Difference – and the difference they’ve made in her life.