Employee Spotlight: Doing Things From The Heart
Q&A with Vidal Garcia, Jr.
Patient Care Associate
Memorial Hospital Miramar
Q: What do you do in your role?
They usually have me working in triage so I am the first person patients see when they come in. I get their weight, height and their vitals. I complete their EKGs and draw blood – anything the nurses need assistance with I am there to help. Whatever needs to get done with regard to patients, I’m ready to jump in.
Q: What type of patients do you see?
I see all types of patients from different walks of life. Patients come to us from all over South Florida, including Hialeah, Carol City, Miami Gardens, even from places like Aventura and Boca Raton. In addition to my work as a patient care associate at Memorial Hospital Miramar, I am also a volunteer firefighter with Southwest Ranches Volunteer Fire Department. I bring a lot of patients from the area of Southwest Ranches to Miramar. In addition to holding two jobs, I am a Red Cross volunteer and go to school full time. I am working towards my bachelor’s in emergency management.
Q. What is your philosophy about work and/or life?
I really enjoy what I do. I have two kids – a daughter who is 33 and a son who is 28. When they were growing up I always told them, ‘I don’t care what you do in life as long as you enjoy it, that’s all that maters. Every job has its ups and downs but you have to learn how to deal with them.’ I believe what defines a person are the experiences one goes through in life. In my case, I’ve always gone out of my way to help others.
Was this idea of giving back instilled in you growing up?
I came to this country from Cuba when I was 10 and a half years old. My father had to leave Cuba in 1962 for political reasons; I came later in 1970, so I first met my father when I was 10. I am the middle child, and since the age of 4, I was always the “man of the house.” I had a lot of responsibilities. So in a way I grew up too quickly and maybe that’s why I am very responsible person today. I like to think things through. But there is nothing more satisfying than to be able to help someone less fortunate than you. That’s me – I am always going out of my way to help others. People can count on me.
Datasource: Vidal Garcia
Yes it is. I am also an instructor at the hospital so I teach doctors, nurses and medics about what to expect on the job. I really enjoy teaching. In my classes, I try to put my life and work experiences to good use. I’ll give my students information they can use, ideas to keep in the back of their minds. I’ll tell them these things could happen, because it has happened to me; once while giving someone chest compressions using a defibrillator, the patient’s pacemaker really shocked my hand. I tell them ‘just because it can happen doesn’t mean you can’t help somebody else, just keep in mind it could happen to you.’
Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I do things because they come from the heart. I do things without expecting compensation. To me, the most rewarding part of my job is when I’m in a code red, when I’m doing chest compressions on a patient, there is no greater satisfaction than bringing someone back to life. That has happened many times over and it’s the best feeling in the world. I’ve been in the hospital almost 10 years now, and I’m always the same. I work my tail off and when I get out of work, I go to school, and then I go back to the hospital for my regular shift or volunteer at the fire station. I enjoy that; I’m fine with 3-4 hours of sleep a day. My body is used to it.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have an eye for photography and have always enjoyed it.. I have been taking photos since I was in the ninth grade. I am a commercial photographer. I really enjoy taking pictures. Last year, I travelled to Trinidad for a week with some friends where we took some amazing photos of hummingbirds. So I do work hard but I also take time for myself.