Deep down, Julie Madden, radiology support specialist, says she’s a cowgirl at heart. She enjoys listening to country music, reading cowboy romances and historical westerns and staying overnight in log cabins. And like any cowgirl worth her salt, Julie is good at wrangling, especially when it comes to maneuvers that accommodate Akron Children’s patients.
“There are times when parents call and they’re in tears or upset,” Julie said. “If I can do something to help someone in distress or relieve their child’s pain through scheduling or helping with a special request, I make the effort.”
After 41 years of providing exceptional patient experiences to thousands of people, Julie plans to ride off into the sunset on June 4. She looks forward to spending time with her family, chaperoning field trips for her sister’s kindergarten class, scrapbooking and creating table favors for hospice patients.
What brought you to Children’s?
My sister worked in the medical library and took a job in Children’s pharmacy. I interviewed for her part-time library job. I was hired immediately, mostly because my sister was a good employee and well liked!
What was going on in your life then?
I babysat and worked in a nursing home, in addition to the part-time library job. After a year, I applied for full-time work in radiology, and when they called, I was babysitting. Children’s asked me to come that day, so I interviewed and toured the department with a baby on my hip. That “baby” tells me he helped me get my job because he was so cute!
Have you always worked in the same department and role?
When I started in radiology, I was a file clerk before moving over to scheduling. I like the one-on-one contact I have with parents and caregivers while scheduling and registering their child. I continued to stay because I work with a nice group of people, the work is interesting and our staff is good at what they do. For instance, our child life specialist uses a Barbie or G.I. Joe and video to show kids what they’ll hear and teach them how to hold still during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). When I needed to work part-time for a year for family and personal reasons, my colleagues in radiology helped me out.
What have your biggest contributions been while here?
I’m proud of the number of appointments I’ve scheduled for families, which I estimate is more than 200,000 patients. I’ve also helped move patients up in the schedule to decrease the number of days that they are in pain, waiting to start treatment or waiting on a diagnosis.
How has Akron Children’s changed since you started here?
When I first started, we had 3 radiologists. We developed X-ray films in a dark room that were read on view boxes. STAT x-rays were referred to as “wet reads,” reports were typed on typewriters and our scheduling book was handmade. We now have 12 radiologists, multiple sites, multiple imaging capabilities (MRI, CT, fluoroscopy and ultrasound), and everything is digitalized.
What gave you the most satisfaction at work?
I’ve always believed that knowledge is power. In radiology, we can do something tangible to help patients and their caregivers get the answers, and care, they need.
What’s your most memorable moment at Akron Children’s?
There are 3: celebrating my 40th anniversary with my department, former co-workers and retirees; being awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service Award; and, of course, meeting Jim, my husband, at work!
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Sunshine, a log cabin in the mountains, a rocking chair on the porch, a roaring fire and a good book.
Do you have any advice for people just starting at Children’s?
Learn what your job entails: the process, how and why it’s done. Make it personal. We deal with people’s lives and can make things run more smoothly for them.
What couldn’t you live without?
My faith in God and my family.
What music do you like? Where and how do you listen to it?
My parents took my sister, brother and me to southern gospel quartet conventions. In fact, my dad sang bass in a quartet. As an adult, I still sometimes attend these conventions. I also like country music, which I listen to while I’m here (on Earth). That’s because it won’t be playing in heaven because of the themes!