Eleanor Black - Geriatric Medicine Clinic Receptionist
How many years have you been involved with St. Joseph’s Hospital?
All my life – My mother was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing and worked here for
many years. I met a lot of the St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing graduates through my mother and working here too. My Dad had poor health and was a patient here numerous times so I spent a lot of time visiting him. I remember when I was a child having Christmas Dinner with Mum and Dad in Dad’s hospital room. I worked as a nurses’ aide while I was in high school and then I started in the Purchasing Dept. as an Inventory Control Clerk in 1975. I spent 21 years in the Purchasing Department and then I was moved, so I came to work as the Receptionist in the Geriatric Medicine Clinic where I am today.
Something unique about St. Joseph’s Hospital - a favorite memory?
Well I remember a long time ago, when I was in Purchasing there was a fire at the Saint John General
Hospital that affected their Labour and Delivery Dept. Our Day Surgery Department at the time was
located on the Fifth Floor where the CAM Unit is now located. The area was the Labour and Delivery
Dept. years before. I remember that the Day Surgery Department had to close right away and turn back
to the Labour and Delivery for the city. My co-worker, Sandie and I met the truck that came from the
General Hospital at the Loading Dock with lots of infant beds. Sandie and I moved them from the loading dock to the elevators and up to 5th. Floor. There were so many beds! There were announcements on the radio and in the newspaper, for any woman having a baby – go to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The staff was so excited to have babies being born at St. Joseph’s Hospital again. All the talk of the staff around St. Joseph’s was, how many girls do we have now and boys do we have now? It was such an exciting time!
What does St. Joseph’s Hospital mean to you?
It means all of the above and more! It’s my home away from home. I’ve spent a lot of time here! I can
always remember my mother saying if you see someone that needs help – great them with a smile and
take them where they need to go. If they are coming for tests chances are they are not scared, they
are terrified. Help them anyway you can – remember the patient is your employer. If it wasn’t for the
patient, you would not have a job. Treat them with the utmost respect and kindness! I have always tried
to do that. I like to treat our patients like I would want my parents treated. I try to be friendly and to
calm the patient’s fears of the unknown.
Hobbies outside of work?
I don’t have any hobbies, but I do treasure the time I spend with my family. I also teach Grade Two
Catechism at St. Peter’s Church. I’ve been teaching Catechism there for many years. I consider it a real
blessing that I am able to teach the children about their faith. I hope that it will be a great comfort for
them along life’s journey, as it has been for me.