Tell HCMC to Respect Cit’a

Cit'a Aldridge
Cit'a Aldridge

HCMC patient services coordinator Cit’a Aldridge would have taken a big hit from the administration’s layoff plans. Along with the announced layoffs of 200 people, the hospital is shifting numerous other workers from full time to part time. That would have been especially disastrous for Aldridge, a Local 977 member. She would have lost her health care coverage while pregnant and still recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

“I have three kids and one on the way. I was offered an hours reduction, moving from 40 hours to 24 hours a week. Benefits, short and long-term disability would be nonexistent, which I really need right now because I’m pregnant. It would also affect my PTO accrual.

In my head I was like, ‘Dang, that sucks.’ My boss almost cried when she told me.

If you’re considering everything that has to be taken care of, mortgage, car payment, kids, bills, medical, all that stuff, we’d be cutting back a lot. With all my benefits coming out for my entire family, my FSA, medical, bus card, other expenses, taxes, student loans, I had so much stuff coming out, I’d have maybe a $20 or $30 check.

It would have been bad. I wouldn’t have been able to pay for anything, and I would have been screwed.

I work the front desk at HCMC. I check patients in and out, coordinate appointments with other clinics, do referrals, if patients need forms for benefits with a doctor’s signature, handle phones. I was the only PSC (patient services coordinator) there, how are you going to make that work? Without us, how are you going to move forward? We are who the patients see first, we are the first step toward getting where they need to go. We can’t help people if nobody is there.

About two weeks ago, I got a random call. They said we’re giving you the opportunity to move to another clinic. I spent two weeks thinking I’d lose all this money, I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t get another job.

I still have all these treatments I’m doing from this accident last year, it’s all at the hospital. Someone ran a red light. They drove into me with an SUV, totaled out my car. It was downhill from there. I was seeing things, I felt like I was in a dream, my glasses weren’t working. I had debilitating headaches. It was bad. I couldn’t put my head up for anything.

I had to do speech pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, see an eye specialist, a psychiatrist. I’m better – it’s a work in progress.

Now I’m pregnant. Those two together (pregnancy and a TBI) don’t mesh well mentally, physically.

I had wanted to be a hands-on medical worker like a nurse. I thought I’d be good at it. This is the next best thing. I still have patient interaction. I’m a talker. I’m good at talking with people. Most of the time I’m good at calming people down, defusing certain situations. Before all this, I’d been offered other jobs. I didn’t see any need to take them. I was fine where I was at.

I think the administration could have thought it through first, especially considering I’m the only PSC there. It would seem very silly to cut me. The stuff I do, no one else does.

I don’t have any ill will.

I feel like they just put people through unnecessary headaches.