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Inspired by the culture of caring

Employees share why they chose Geisinger, and why they stay

It was an experience in high school, an opportunity to job shadow her aunt who worked as an LPN at a nursing home, that opened Katelyn Smith’s eyes to her future. “That day, I just began to see myself doing this,” she explains. “I am a people person. I like to be around people and I like to help people.”

Caring makes an impact

The working environment that Katelyn envisioned for herself was the one she experienced as a Geisinger patient. 

“I’ve always felt that the doctors at Geisinger didn’t just treat me like a patient, but like a friend. When I was younger going to regular appointments and then when I was pregnant with my daughter, the doctors were well informed about my history, which made it more personable. The nursing staff was always so nice, it just felt like we were family,” Katelyn explains. “That is how it is here now, too.”

At Geisinger Moshannon Valley, Katelyn is celebrating her one-year anniversary as a certified medical assistant (CMA). “The people I work with make it more than just a job or career,” she says. “I tell my co-workers daily that they are my second family. We are so close. The doctors, everyone, we are just one team.”

A winding path to home

Katelyn first started at Geisinger in 2016 in the call center. Graduating from college in 2011, she didn’t immediately get her certification to work as a CMA. She took jobs outside of direct care and started a family. It was while working in the call center that she decided to pursue her certification. “I pushed myself to take the test and from that point on, I knew I wanted a position with more one-on-one patient care.” 

With her certification in hand, Katelyn stayed at the call center and waited for the right position to open up within the system. When asked why, she explains, “I just knew I wanted to remain within Geisinger. My mom has worked at Geisinger for many years as a phlebotomist. I knew how she was treated, and I also knew about Geisinger’s employee benefits. It’s a great organization to work for.” 

In January of 2018, Katelyn finally found the perfect job opening at Geisinger Moshannon Valley. “I jumped on it,” she says, “and they worked with me. Moving from a non-clinical position to a clinical position, I was given the chance to show that I could do this job.” 

Overcoming a final obstacle, with the help from some friends

“Because we are a team, everyone shares their knowledge,” says Katelyn. “When I needed help, they were there to help me. When I needed a push, they pushed me forward.”

“There are also opportunities to learn something new every day,” she says. “It adds to the training I received in school and makes me feel more capable and more up-to-date with the nursing field and the whole medical field.” 

Katelyn now enjoys the career she saw for herself all those years ago. “This is a job that I look forward to every day,” she shares. "I come here with a smile on my face and I leave with a smile on my face. That comes from our patients and my coworkers, having those interactions.”

A place in the culture of caring

“I know a lot of our patients now. You build friendships and it becomes personal,” says Katelyn. “Some of my patients will come in and ask about my daughter. It is just so warm and comforting to know that you are making such an impact on people’s lives that they remember you and what is important to you. I love being able to help them.”

Physician assistant Chelsey Ernst with certified medical assistant Katelyn Smith in Geisinger’s Moshannon Valley clinic
Physician assistant Chelsey Ernst, left, with certified medical assistant Katelyn Smith in Geisinger’s Moshannon Valley clinic
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