George FrazerVariety seems to be the spice in George Frazer’s nearly 40-year career at Brightshores Health System, dating back to the old Owen Sound General & Marine Hospital.

George has enjoyed several roles at the Owen Sound hospital, including orderly, transporter, operating room attendant and in more recent years, environmental service worker. His favourite part of his many jobs has been working with patients. In his early years, orderlies and transporters did many of the same duties as today’s RPNs, he said. George learned to truly appreciate what patients were going through from his early training, when orderlies spent time pretending to be patients, from being fed hospital food to being wheeled around the halls.

“It clicked for me…it really stuck with me all these years, being in the patients’ shoes.” He found the experience almost “scary, because you had people hovering over you, and you felt vulnerable.”

The experience has never left him, he said, and George tries to engage patients in conversation, and communicate with them as much as he can.

“I’ve always enjoyed getting to know the patients. You try to understand what they’re going through.” George said he underwent an attitude change when his job went from working with patients in the recovery room to housekeeping. “I learned how important housekeeping is, and I try to do the best job I can.”

Although he retired from full-time work five years ago, George continues casual work as an environmental service worker.

“When I retired, I didn’t retire to retire. I was 55 years old and I didn’t want to work full time anymore, but I figured I had a couple more good years in me.”

“A group of us have been here for a long time, and we say, we have to sit down and write that book. A real cast of characters have come and gone through here, trust me.”