Charlene Maldonado has always felt a deep connection to the medical field and she loves working every day to help patients and her staff get the most out of their time at TOI. This passion and dedication are one of the many reasons why she recently celebrated 15 years with TOI this past February.
Charlene said, “I always ask myself: How can I make a difference? What does this person need from me? I want to know that something I did helped make their day better and easier.”
She knows that she has a lot of people relying on her and it makes her feel good knowing doctors can turn to her for help, a trait that she makes sure her staff embraces as well. If doctors know they can rely on her and her staff to get things done, they can focus all of their attention on their patients.
One of her favorite parts of the job is seeing the smile on a patient’s face after they complete chemo. Throughout their whole treatment, Charlene is there giving them words of encouragement, something these patients need during a difficult period of their life.
“When I first see them, they are scared and unsure of what to expect. I always tell them they will be ok and will get through it. Then they finish their last treatment and breathe a sigh of relief, seeing the big smile on their face is why we do what we do.”
Charlene has experienced both sides of TOI, as a staff member and a family member of a patient. When her father was diagnosed with cancer she knew there was nowhere else she wanted him to go. At TOI, not only do the doctors and nurses get to know the patients, they also make sure the family is taken care of because it’s a scary experience for them as well.
When she isn’t helping patients or training her staff at TOI, she’s focused on her other job – as mom. With a daughter who just got married, one son in the military and her youngest in middle school, she is always busy.
“I’m always a mom first. My kids are so important to me and seeing them grow and thrive brings me so much joy.”
For those who are still looking for their dream job, Charlene says to find one where you are always learning.