Bertha Moses

Bertha Moses,
Transcript Section 8

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MARLA:  Well, it sounds like you learned a lot in your training. 

BERTHA:  Oh, yes.  We had good instructors in Anchorage and Fairbanks and Tanana Hospital.  Dr. James was one of the -- my instructors in Tanana Hospital, and when also when we made the trips, Dr. Elterman, all of them. 

MARLA:  And did you ever have to go to the Lower 48 for training? 

BERTHA:  No.  I never. 

MARLA:  And then you moved to Fairbanks? 

BERTHA:  Oh, yeah.  1983.  I was at the clinic one day, and my daughter come in with me, she says, someone called our house, we had a phone at the house then.  She said this person wanted you to call.  So I said okay.
 
And since I didn't have a patient at that time, the office was closer to -- to the telephone, so I went to that Allakaket city office, and it was a pay phone, so I called that this person that wanted me to call. 

I was thinking at that time, it was in March, and I was -- the convention was coming up and I was thinking, well, maybe they are going to ask me to go to convention.  I would be happy to get a little break from the health aide.
 
So I went to that -- so I made the call, and they said we are thinking of -- we are thinking that you -- we want you to apply for the house manager job for the patient hospital. 

And I said, oh, I know about it before, but I thought it was too complicated for me.  So I didn't apply for it. 

This person said, we really want you to, there's several of us want you to apply.  They said, you don't have to answer me right away, you can -- I said, I have to talk with my husband first, I'll call you from the office.
 
And they said talk with him and call me back in a day or two. 

So I hang up and I think, I say to myself, God, whatever you have for me, that's what I'll do.  Whatever it is.  Go or stay here or go for it. 

So I went back to the clinic and finished my day, then I went home and I told my husband.  And he said, that's funny, he said, because we all of us talk about living in Fairbanks some day.  It's like we know we were going to live in Fairbanks some day we said. 

And he's saying, I think you should -- you should apply because this is the third time somebody asked us to relocate to our job.  And I think you should apply because it's only 55 minutes flight from Fairbanks if you wanted to come back, he said. 

And so I called and the next day, and told -- called Sherry, I told her, yeah, I'll apply.  So anyway, they make a reservation and for us to travel right away. 

So both of us traveled and meet with Dave Mather.  And he said, I can't believe you want to leave your health aide job, he said, you are doing really good in the health aide.  And I can't believe you want to live in the city.
 
By that time I think after -- after how many years, I wanted to rest from being health aide.  I'm getting old, too, you know.  I was 53, almost 53 years old. 

And so I -- I went for my interview, then come back.  And how many days later, they said I was accepted.  It was kind of hard to leave all the babies, all my patients when I'm working, and Clara Sam was working with me as a CHR. 

MARLA:  And did she take over for you? 

BERTHA:  Yes.  Her and -- her and Kitty, Kitty David.  Then Kitty David take over as CHR. 

When I leave the village, Kitty David used to alternate for me.  And then after that Elsie.  I trained Kitty all at home.  Everything we had for clinic, she didn't have to go to no training before. 

And then Elsie, I trained her mostly at home, Elsie Bergman.  At the clinic, too.  And a lot of people didn't feel too comfortable about me being out, but I think, oh, they will get used to the new -- new health aides, and they did.  And yeah. 

And they -- they called me and they told me I was accepted and when did they want us to move.  So we moved to Fairbanks. 

And I was really worried about the paperwork, how -- how am I going to have -- take these calls, and how will I keep track of who is coming in and the rooms, and there was no one to work with me, just myself at the patient hospital, with living -- with living quarters.  And so...