Shortly after graduating from the University of Syracuse with a sociology degree, Jimeisha Bailey got a job as a teacher and counselor helping children with mild and severe disabilities. She loved what she did and enjoyed every aspect of her job, but something was missing. “Something wasn’t working for me,” Jimeisha says. “I always knew I wanted to go back to school, so I quit my job and looked for new education opportunities.”
While in university, one of her friends had encouraged her to take a certified nursing assistant (CAN) class. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” she says. “But there was something about the classes that felt right and I continued to take them. Today, I have no doubts that I am on the right path.”
Jimeisha currently serves as a patient care technician at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC). Since starting work here a little over a year and a half ago, she says she feels like things in her career are falling into place, empowering her and her work.
“My work gives me a sense of gratification,” she says. “One moment you’re admitting a patient who can barely speak when they get here, and the next moment they’re healthy again and getting ready to go home. It’s gratifying to see someone get better. It’s nice to make people happy.”
When she starts her shift, Jimeisha’s first task is to drop off fresh linen to patients. She addresses every patient with a warm smile, followed with her favorite reminder: “Today is going to be a great day!”
“Positive energy transfers positive energy,” Jimeisha says. “To me, that’s just what you’re supposed to do. That patient could be your family member, a friend or someone you care for. I always think, ‘How would you feel if you were here and no one engaged with you?’”
Jimeisha gives credit to her mom for her caring personality. “She was a single mom of four kids,” she recalls. “I’ve had many extended brothers and sisters throughout my childhood because every time a family in our neighborhood went through something, my mom would always be the one to take care of their children. She always helped others, no matter what.”
Aside from being a spark of happiness for her patients, the wife of an ex-NFL player and a mom of three children, Jimeisha is currently completing her nursing master’s degree at the University of Maryland. Now in her last semester, Jimeisha hopes to reflect on her experience working as a tech and bring change as she becomes a nurse.
“I want to make the work environment a friendly one, where people, regardless of position or role, can work with each other,” she says. “I would like for others to feel like they’re not just going into work, but instead, feel like they’re going to a place that they enjoy and do what they love to do.”
Pro tip: “You have to be passionate about it and really want to do it. If you don’t enjoy it, it won’t last long and it’ll be obvious. Always have your work reflect your character. When you go in a room, go in with a smile and treat patients like you would want someone to treat you or anyone you love. Don’t forget, people are in the hospital because they’re sick. If you can put a smile on their face, that’s what really matters and that’s what people will remember.”
*Jimeisha Bailey received an AAMC Champion award for the month of June.