Meet some of the people serving in the most in-demand jobs in healthcare, as identified in a survey of New Jersey healthcare providers by the New Jersey Hospital Association.
Carmen Edwards, CNA
The best part of my job is the joy I feel when my residents are cared for and look good. I also love the feeling I have at the change of a shift, when I know I have contributed to the quality of life of my residents. I find joy in being there for my residents and bringing them a little bit of sunshine with the quality care I provide. If you are passionate about helping and going the extra mile for others, this is the job for you. I recommend the job of nursing assistant to anyone who is compassionate.
Heidi Talavera, Director
St. Mary’s General Hospital – Passaic
I oversee the day-to-day cleanliness and disinfecting practices within the hospital. The EVS team is the first line of defense in infection prevention from our patients and visitors to all of our employees. The best part of my job is the human connections my team and I make every day. Our EVS employees know that part of their job requires them to be in patients’ rooms two or more times daily. I encourage my team to engage with the patients and their loved ones. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, some words of encouragement or just our presence in that moment.
Bernadette Tigar, food service worker
Virtua Mount Holly Hospital
I’m responsible for checking patients’ breakfast and lunch trays before they are delivered to the patients’ rooms. I ensure that patients receive the food they have requested and that it is nutritionally appropriate based on their diet plans. I am a very detail-oriented person, so making sure our patients receive the food they prefer – that is also in accordance with their diet – is very satisfying for me. I also enjoy working with my Virtua colleagues. We all get along really well.
Lauren Smith RT (R) MR, Section Head of MRI
Hackensack University Medical Center
The primary role of the MRI technologist is to perform high quality imaging for radiologist interpretation in a safe manner. To obtain such images requires an understanding of anatomy and how it can be visualized differently utilizing specific parameters. The best part of my job is seeing how the images I have acquired can change a patient’s life. I would recommend this job to individuals searching for a healthcare role with rewarding benefits. The field is growing with new treatments and imaging techniques.
I am a critical care/patient care technician, where I assist nurses and patients with a wide range of things. Some of my responsibilities include obtaining vitals, blood glucose, ECGs, blood work and urine/stool test/specimens. I assist the patients with daily living activities such as bathing, oral hygiene, linen changing, feeding, ambulating and dressing. I can also assist nurses with procedures and tasks. I would recommend this job to anyone, especially if you’re in nursing school. It really helps get your foot in the door.
Raymond Hawash, PharmD, BCPS
The Valley Hospital
My role as a specialty clinical pharmacist is to help patients navigate the challenging waters of specialty therapy. These therapies include high-cost medications for complex disease states, such as oncology and inflammatory conditions. The best part of my job is ensuring patients receive the quality of care they require and that they understand how to manage their treatment plan.
Inspira Health Center Bridgeton
I play an important role in helping patients maintain or improve their health. As a phlebotomist/ lab assistant, I work hands-on with both inpatients and outpatients. Our job is to obtain blood and other specimens. We also work in the lab itself to receive specimens and help prepare and distribute them for testing. What we do is an integral part of the process to help our patients get better. Many patients, especially children, have a great fear of needles. To have them sit down in front of you feeling very nervous, and then leave a few minutes later – smiling – makes you feel very good about yourself and your profession.
David DeMara, PA-C, Chief Cardiothoracic Surgical Physician Assistant
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
Working under the supervision of a cardiothoracic surgeon, I care for patients before, during and after their heart surgery or other procedure. This includes ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medications, assisting in surgeries and educating patients and their loved ones about their conditions, and the procedures and follow-up care they need. It is incredibly rewarding to work collaboratively with our compassionate, experienced healthcare team, helping people get through one of the most difficult times in their lives.
Natalie Jones, DNP, RN, Continuing Nurse Education Manager
New Jersey Hospital Association
After many years working at the bedside in the critical care unit, I now use my nursing experience in nurse education. I develop programming that supports the continual education and growth of nurses and other healthcare providers. It’s rewarding to help them in their career journey and knowing that my work ultimately benefits patients through a well-prepared healthcare workforce that delivers quality care. That’s one of the great things about nursing – there are countless career pathways you can pursue that utilize your education and expertise in new and different ways.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
As a respiratory therapist, I play a critical part in helping patients improve their health and wellness by increasing their lung function and helping them breathe easier. I manage patients suffering from a wide range of conditions including stroke, asthma, COPD and bronchitis. I love building relationships with patients and find it rewarding to restore their full pulmonary function. Respiratory Therapy is an allied health profession that is currently in high demand; within two years you can become eligible to be a licensed practitioner.
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Vijay Singh, CBET, Biomedical Equipment Technician
Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center
As a Biomedical Equipment Technician within the Clinical Engineering team, I troubleshoot and repair equipment affecting patient care. We are also a source of innovation. We use a 3D printer to design and create solutions to any number of challenges that arise. The ability to design solutions is bound largely by our own imagination.
Bommae Kim, Lead Data Scientist
Hackensack Meridian Health
I am a lead data scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, I initiate, design, develop and evaluate artificial intelligence-powered solutions to improve patient care and optimize hospital operations. I particularly enjoy the challenge and reward of designing an AI solution that will be adopted by our clinicians and have a measurable impact on patient care.
Fredaleen (Lynn) Quinit, Clinical Informatics Analyst Trainer
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center
As a clinical informatics analyst, I get to leverage my clinical expertise to make a larger impact on patient care. Some days, I train clinicians. Other days, I configure the electronic medical record to meet new regulations. The best part of the job is the collaborative endeavor between different teams. There is something truly satisfying about seeing a project move from workflow analysis to its final product.
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