When surgical technician Tami Held learned that she was our August 2015 Employee of the Month, she was in the middle of a delivery.
“I was totally taken by surprise,” Tami says. “I couldn’t remember who announced it, what they said or who was there. I was so worried that I had just so abruptly left the delivery, that I couldn’t focus on what was being said.”
As a surgical tech on Boone Family Birthplace’s labor and delivery team, Tami assists Boone Hospital Center physicians and nurses with delivering babies, including cesarean sections and natural childbirths, and performs other tasks to help a busy unit run smoothly every day.
Prior to joining Boone Hospital Center, Tami knew she’d always wanted to work in health care. While working as a warehouse supervisor for a shoe company, she saw and applied for a position as a nursery tech. Not long after starting at Boone in August 1998, Tami was asked if she’d be interested in a surgical tech position.
“When they asked me if I’d be interested and if I thought I could do it, I said ‘Of course I can do it!’” Tami recalls. “Obviously they thought I could handle it. I was not going to let them down. Even though I had no idea what the job was all about, I was willing to learn. It proved to be one of the best decisions I could’ve made for myself.”
With nearly 2,000 babies being born every year at Boone Hospital Center, Tami has seen a lot since her first day. She recalls one story about a time she passed a birthing room and heard a mother yell, “The baby is coming!” and discovered that the doctor and nurses hadn’t yet arrived.
“All I saw was the anesthesiologist and the patient. Momma screams at me ‘The baby is coming!’ So I lifted the blanket and out comes the baby – right into my hands! I yelled, ‘I need a doctor!’ Then the anesthesiologist runs out of the room and yells ‘Tami needs a nurse and a doctor in here -- STAT!’ Momma and Baby were fine. Myself, well, I had to go change my clothes!”
Tami has also learned a lot working with what she says is an awesome team: “Many of the seasoned staff have helped mold me into the tech that I am today. I have learned something from everyone that I apply to my work everyday.”
She says, “I love going home knowing that I made a difference in the lives of so many every day. Maybe it was someone in the hallway lost and trying to find a loved one, maybe a scared grandparent or siblings, or a first-time Mom and Dad. Or parents who have received devastating news.”
One of the hardest things Tami and her team face on their unit is caring for a mother and family who’ve experienced a loss. Tami makes sure that these mothers, fathers, siblings and extended family members receive care and compassion and that they have everything she can provide to help them through a difficult time, whether it’s pictures and keepsakes, saying a prayer with the family or providing a shoulder to cry on.
“The part of my job that I have always had the most passion for is caring for families that are experiencing loss,” she says. “I’m part of a team that works very closely with these families. I believe that each of us go above and beyond to make their unfortunate situation as positive as we can.”
Tami and her husband of 24 years, Steve Held, enjoy camping and spending time with their friends and family. They especially enjoy spending time with their two children, Courtney Elizabeth, 23, who attends Cox Nursing School in Springfield, and son Kyle Henry, 21, who manages a large cattle operation in Cooper County.
Tami, who grew up in Bunceton, Missouri, notes that her children are Boone Babies, but sadly she is not.
“However,” she says, with pride. “I am a dedicated Boone Adult!”