Northeast Georgia Medical Center hosted its 51st service awards celebration Thursday night at Lanier Technical College. The event honors employees who have worked at the hospital for at least 15 years.
Patient care technician Sylvia Elizabeth Lyle was recognized as Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s longest-standing employee with 55 years of service.
She was hired in 1967 and has witnessed all of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s various building changes.
“It's been an adventure,” Lyle said. “When I first started in 1967, it was helping out the brick building with five floors and they started adding it on.”
Her title was originally a certified nursing assistant, but it changed to patient care tech during her career. Lyle’s late husband, Eugene, also worked at Northeast Georgia Medical Center as an operating room technician.
She assists cardiac patients and nurses in the Sam Jones Cath Observation Unit.
“I get vital signs and I keep the unit stocked with equipment,” Lyle said. “I help set up the patients when they come back from the cath lab. Whatever the patient or nurses need, they ask me and I do it.”
Lyle is known for her positive attitude at work. She said it comes from her passion of helping others.
“I like helping people, I'm a people's person,” Lyle said. “And I like to take care of people.”
Some patients even recognize Lyle when she is out in the community. She said that she has had patients call her name in department stores.
Lyle emphasized one important personality element that other patient care techs should show to their patients.
“You have to show them that you're friendly,” Lyle said. “And that you’re willing to do anything to meet their needs. It's all about attitude. [In] any kind of job, it's your attitude that counts.”
Lyle considered becoming a nurse and attended a few classes at the University of North Georgia. However after her husband had open-heart surgery, her plans had to change.
“I wouldn't mind being a nurse, but I'm too old now,” Lyle said.
She is considering retirement next year and is grateful to have served with Northeast Georgia Medical Center for the duration of her career.
“I'm just gonna go in and go live my life and be happy,” Lyle said. “Thank God that I'm able to do my job. I'm thankful to be at the Northeast Georgia mountains and they allowed me to stay there for 55 years.”