“My great grandmother was a nurse, and I knew from a young age I wanted to help people, brighten their day and make them smile,” says Crystal Bulchie, nursing assistant, Interventional Radiology at Geisinger Medical Center (GMC), Danville.
“When I was 12 years old, as part of the Job Training Partnership Act I was a ‘companion’ to the nursing assistants at Mountain View Manor. This role was similar to a candy striper. I made beds, delivered flowers and talked with patients. In high school, I enrolled in the vocational technical program and through different courses I spent time in various aspects of healthcare -- in nursing homes and in hospitals where I even got to see surgeries. I loved the fast pace of hospitals and knew it was the place for me!”
Although Crystal was already working as a licensed nursing assistant after graduation, her ultimate goal was to join Geisinger. She waited for the right position, and her perseverance paid off in 2013 when she was hired.
That was just the beginning of Crystal’s journey here. “There’s so much career opportunity at Geisinger. I told my boss that I wanted to do different things, and so I applied for our School at Work (SAW) program.”
Offered through Human Resources, the SAW career-development program focuses on communication skills, grammar/reading/writing, patient safety and satisfaction, medical terminology and tactics for success. “In my application I wrote why I’d be a good candidate. I had to interview. The process took several months, and finally 14 employees were chosen from 77 applicants. I was thrilled to be among the accepted.”
For six months, SAW students met once a week for two hours. “It was an adjustment to work all day and then go to class, study, do homework, change my schedule. I am so glad that I had the guts to do it! At Geisinger, people work with you to achieve your goals.”
What’s next for Crystal? “SAW made me confident to follow my dream. I’ve been accepted by Luzerne County Community College for the fall 2019 nursing program. I’ve focused on my family since I had my first child at 19, and now that my two girls are grown, it’s my turn. I’ll continue to work at Geisinger while I go back to school.
“Geisinger gives you the opportunities to make you a better you. I’m working toward my dream of becoming an OR or ED nurse. And that’s all because Geisinger gave me the chance. Geisinger helped me to find myself, believe in myself, and keep saying I can do it. And now I am!”
Learn more about nursing careers at Geisinger here.