He always ensures patients are treated with kindness, respect and dignity. He consistently has an upbeat attitude that lifts the spirits of patients and staff alike. - Nominator comment
Every day, James Spry takes anywhere between 15 and 30 patients a day from their inpatient beds to undergo X-rays, MRI, CT scans or other tests and procedures, and back again.
“We have a good five- to ten-minute window with a patient,” he says. “We try to make them feel as good as they can. We make them feel more comfortable and at ease.”
James grew up in Columbia. A few months after he graduated from Hickman High, 27 years ago, he took a job in Boone Hospital Center’s food service department. He worked there for about 10 years before he decided to try something new and applied for a patient transport position.
“Going from the cafeteria to patient transport was a total change,” James says. “In food service, you have contact with visitors, in patient transport, you have direct patient contact. You need to be CPR-certified and have a lot of training.”
James says a positive attitude and friendly smile are critical for patient transport – a good pair of comfortable shoes also helps. The support of coworkers also makes a difference, he says, “We’re a very small department. We support each other. We have a good team.”
Boone Hospital’s family atmosphere is what James likes best about working here. He says, “Everybody walks around and speaks to everybody else. They know everyone else’s names. That’s the best thing.”
James’s wife, Jody, also works at Boone. They met while both worked in food services. She now works in Cardiology. James and Jodi meet up for lunch every day they both work. They also ride to work and home together, too. Their son Austin works at Kraft Foods.
When not working, James and his family enjoy taking short trips or enjoying a weekend getaway. He also loves to cook. “Cooking is an adventure for me,” he says.
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