“If you want to always have a good time at work, that’s what Whittier is all about.” -Tyler Soucy, Nursing Staff Coordinator at Masconomet Healthcare Center
Tyler Soucy is only 23 years old, but he’s already been a part of the Whittier Health Network for six years! Originally from Rowley, Massachusetts, his career started in high school when he enrolled in Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Healthcare Occupations Program, which partners with Whittier skilled nursing facilities to prepare students for the state Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) exam.
What prompted Tyler’s decision to enroll in the program?
“I liked the idea of going into the workforce right away during school and having both the work experience and high school experience. I had zero interest in healthcare before I joined. When I started at Masco (Masconomet Healthcare Center in Topsfield, MA) as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), I was absolutely terrified. I’m 17 years old, and I have to take care of someone three times my age? But it came pretty easily thanks to everyone being so nice, and soon I got into the groove of it, and I fell in love with geriatrics. I love creating relationships with residents and families, learning what they like and how they want to live, and helping them reach those wants when they can’t on their own.”
Tyler has just been promoted to Nursing Staff Coordinator, where he manages schedules, coordinates payroll, and assists the Director of Nursing on “whatever she needs! Cheryl Cronin is my supervisor, and she’s a big part of keeping Masco together. She and Jeff Gangi are so staff-oriented, always making sure that everyone feels important and what they do is recognized a lot. I give them props!”
His position also places him in charge of orientation for new CNAs, as well as community recruitment: “I go to tech schools and explain that if you want to work somewhere where you’ll have a good time, that’s what Whittier is about. Our residents aren’t sitting and staring at the TV all day long; there are so many activities, and it’s upbeat every day. In orientation, I always tell the new CNAs when they start on the job, to remember to have fun! If you don’t have fun, you’re not going to want to come to work, simple as that.”
The joy has only multiplied lately, as Masconomet Healthcare Center became one of the first facilities in the area to re-open to visitation thanks to their high vaccination rate: “We’ve been open for three months for visitors, which is great. The residents are a lot happier now, and it’s good to see everyone again. After a year of not seeing family, seeing them together is one of the best things I’ve seen working here in six years, that’s for sure.”
At the same time, Tyler has played a role in bringing joy to Masco’s hardworking staff: “Recently, for National CNA Week, we made sure there was a special event or gift every day for the staff: cookouts, dessert tables, little handouts like a scratch ticket. I think even something small goes a long way just to say thank you. All of us are appreciative, especially after this past year. I give props to people who stayed with us through COVID; if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to get through this whole thing!”
Tyler is currently enrolled in Northern Essex Community College, pursuing a degree in healthcare management, and he strives to become a Whittier administrator when he has completed the program. “I’ve got two and a half years to go, but I want to stay in the company and move up,” he shares. “I like how they always promote from within; Whittier really likes to see people moving from the bottom to the top. And I’ve been able to climb the ladder because they recognize work ethic. All the people who have trained me are still here. Now I work beside them.”