As a Surgery Technician at Rideout Memorial Hospital, Noemi Rodriguez does
a lot more than order supplies, clean and sterilize surgical instruments
and help set up the operating room. Her co-workers tend to turn to Noemi
for assistance with all sorts of tasks because of her 17 years of experience
"I often end up helping people out in other departments," she
says. "For example, when other people are out sick or on vacation,
I fill in wherever I'm needed. I also serve as a translator for patients
and their families who speak Spanish. I'm a 'Jack of all trades'
because I do a little bit of everything."
Noemi's interest in the field of health care stems from her childhood
and youth in Salinas and Castroville. "My mother was a nurse, and
I worked with her in a convalescent home in Salinas," she explains.
"Later I worked in an acute-care county hospital in Salinas before
moving to Live Oak in 1991 and coming to work for Fremont-Rideout. I really
love the work that I do."
When Noemi is not at work, she's still doing "a little bit of
everything." Two years ago, she and her husband Ubaldo bought a 20-acre
ranch near Oroville. "We raise horses, cows and chickens, so there's
always work to be done," she says. "It took me about six months
to get used to living on the ranch, but now I love it and wouldn't
want to live back in town. Plus, on weekends, three of my grandchildren
come to stay at the ranch. They love all the animals and being outdoors."
But Noemi doesn't always stay "down on the farm." She also
loves traveling to exotic locales such as Catalina, Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta
and Mexico City. Her most frequent travel destination, though, is Bakersfield,
where her other two grandchildren live.
"I love having a close-knit family, and the people I work with at
Fremont-Rideout are almost like family," Noemi says. "Any time
I've needed something like time off to deal with personal matters,
they've been there for me."
And Noemi has been there for us, too.