NEWBURYPORT — It’s not often children follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to selecting a career path, and it’s even rarer for them to be working at the same place. This Mother’s Day, Anna Jaques Hospital is celebrating its multigenerational employees, who add a special family-feel to patient care.
Many mothers and daughters can be found working together at Anna Jaques, whether it’s in the emergency department, by patients’ bedsides, or in registration.
Marianne Green, a laboratory technician, and her daughter Elizabeth Green, an emergency department nurse, have different approaches when it comes to caring for patients, but carry that same role of making a difference in the lives that flow in and out of the door each day.
Marianne decided to enter healthcare because of advice from her high school guidance counselor and has worked at Anna Jaques for 19 years.
“I discovered, unlike Elizabeth, I much prefer to be behind the scenes performing the lab tests and supporting the patients and the nurses and physicians from the other side, not the direct patient care side,” Marianne said.
One day a week, Marianne assists with a blood donation program for patients who give blood regularly because of their health conditions and for others who donate for people in need of blood. Marianne admitted she enjoys working directly with patients, even though she’s spending a short amount of time with them, calming their anxieties.
“They kind of become a little bit of an extended family because you see them so regularly. They tell you about their children and their lives and their vacations and stuff like that,” she said.
On the other hand, her daughter Elizabeth fell into the world of nursing by accident. Elizabeth, who has been a registered nurse since November, began working at Anna Jaques in registration while in college for theater arts. Although she was nervous starting out, she said she grew to enjoy her job and wanted to gain more hands-on experience.
“Then I became an emergency room technician and loved doing that which led to me being a nurse, but I wouldn’t have done any of that if (my mom) hadn’t encouraged me in the first place to take that initial job,” Elizabeth said.
The Greens work opposite shifts — day and night — but are able to eat lunch together and chat before leaving for the day.
“I always admired my mom with the way she connects with her donor room patients really inspired me to become a nurse so I could make connections and make a difference to people, even if they’re strangers,” Elizabeth said. “Seeing not only that she makes a difference on a personal level, but on a medical level.”
Kate Bartol, an emergency room and ambulatory procedure room nurse, and her daughter Emma Bartol, a nurse in the cardiac unit, both come from a long line of family members who worked in health care. Kate’s sister, Maureen Cullen, recently retired from being a nurse practitioner at Anna Jaques and her daughter recently joined the team six months ago.
After spending the first half of her life as a sales and marketing representative for Sony Electronics, Kate took on nursing as a second career when her mother became ill. She noted the nurses who took care of her mom inspired her to shift gears and give back.
Her daughter Emma, who started working at Anna Jaques as a technician in 2015, decided she wanted to become a nurse after watching her mother tackle nursing school part time while she was in high school.
“A lot of it had to do with my whole family being in healthcare and seeing them,” Emma said. “I just wanted a job where I could leave at the end of the day knowing I helped people. I liked the flexibility of it, I don’t think I could have done a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. desk job. I always loved people and cared for people.”
Both families said working with their mothers and daughters has created a unique experience and bond between them.
“It’s just nice having someone that gets it and gets what you’re going through because it can be stressful on the emotions and you can be frustrating, so it’s nice having someone who understands your emotions and frustrations,” Emma added.
Staff writer Amanda Getchell covers Newburyport and Seabrook. Follow her on Twitter @ajgetch.