Sometimes patients need continuing care - including medical equipment and
supplies - when they make the transition from hospital to home. For the
past 13 years, Juan Sigala has met those needs, working as a Delivery
Driver for Sierra Health Care, an affiliate of Rideout Health that offers
24-hour service, 365 days a year, including holidays.
"I deliver home medical equipment, set it up and help instruct patients
and their families in how to use it properly," Juan explains. "I
really enjoy being able to help patients, providing a personal touch as
well as the equipment they need to live comfortably at home. I think of
these people as 'my' patients, and I take my job very seriously."
Juan actually joined Fremont-Rideout 16 years ago as a housekeeper at Rideout
Memorial Hospital. When he learned about the opening for a driver at Sierra
Health Care three years later, he jumped at the chance. "I wanted
to be able to work with patients," he says. "It's a rewarding
job that gives me a feeling of being helpful to patients and the community.
It's also a learning process every day, because each patient's
needs are different."
Many of Juan's patients are referred by Hospice and are facing terminal
illnesses. "Working with these patients and their families can be
very emotional," he notes. "I lost my own mother a year ago,
so it gives me a strong sense of compassion for other families going through
the same thing. It makes me want to do the best I can for them."
Outside of work, Juan keeps busy as the director of a church choir that
participates in services every Sunday at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Live
Oak and once a month at St. Joseph's in Marysville. A self-taught
musician, he sings and plays the guitar, bass and mandolin. He teaches
other people in the choir to play instruments, too. "My wife Yolanda,
our 9-year-old daughter and 5-year old son are part of the choir,"
he says. "In addition to Sunday services, we also put on Christmas
programs for the community. We enjoy sharing our love of music."
Although Juan does not sing and play for his patients while on the job,
he has provided the music at church services for them on occasion - once
again delivering his own special personal touch.