People of KHSC: Marcel Cernik
Portraits of caring, compassion and commitment.
Every shift Marcel Cernik averages about 16 thousand steps, but some days it can get as high as 34 thousand if he works overtime.
He’s a porter at our Hotel Dieu Hospital site and has been for the last 16 years.
Cernik is on his feet 24/7 and every step he takes helps improve patient care.
Porters are vital members of the care team and have a number of important responsibilities.
For instance, he travels all over the building picking up and delivering materials, specimens and medical surgical supplies.
“I’m pretty excited to come to work because every day is different,” explains Cernik. “This job keeps me very entertained. It’s a fast paced environment and you never know how the day is going to go.”
He also transports patients using wheelchairs, stretchers or beds to various clinics, appointments, day surgery or their vehicles.
“We’re one of the first people patients interact with when they come to the hospital and need assistance. We have to be empathetic, caring and understanding because we know how stressful coming to a hospital can be. Our interactions may not last very long, but I try to make all patients feel comfortable and help set their minds at ease.”
When an emergency code is called, porters like Cernik are part of the response team. If needed, he helps bring patients to the Urgent Care Centre or calls for an ambulance to transfer them to the Kingston General Hospital site.
“I find being a porter very rewarding and I take my job seriously. But you definitely need some sort of gym or cardio experience because it’s a lot of pushing, lifting, pulling and of course walking.”
And speaking of steps, like an avid runner or jogger Cernik regularly purchases new sneakers.
“I think it’s smart to change them every six months at the latest. It’s like being in Europe and walking on the cobblestone, it gets pretty hard on your feet.”