Elsie Bergman

Elsie Bergman, Transcript Section 1

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MARLA:  Okay.  So today is September 13th, 2005.  My name is Marla Statscewich, and I have the pleasure today of doing an interview with Elsie Bergman at her home in Allakaket. 

And we're doing this project for the Community Health Aides Program.  And so thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview with me on such short notice. 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative). 

MARLA:  We are going to -- I was just doing an interview with Bertha Moses and she suggested that we talk to you because you had 20 years or so of experience with the Health Aide Program. 

ELSIE:  I think it was actually from 1969 when I had my first training in 1971. 

MARLA:  Wow.  Well, let's see, can we start with your -- where you were born, where you were raised, and some of your -- some background information, your parents. 

ELSIE:  Oh.  My name is Elsie Bergman.  I lived here all of my life.  And I -- my parents are Mary Williams and my parents was Arthur Williams.  And my stepmother who raised me is Jenny Williams.  And I have my -- I have my brothers and sisters living here. 

MARLA:  So you were born and raised here in Allakaket? 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  

MARLA:  And when was that? 

ELSIE:  September 1944. 

MARLA:  Okay. 

ELSIE:  And I became a health aide in 1969.  But I had my first training in 1971.  And it's a lot of work, I would say.  And it's -- sometimes it's happy, too.  We work lots.  We have to do -- see patients at their home, make visit, and...

MARLA:  What kind of training did you have? 

ELSIE:  I had Session 1, 2, 3, 4, every three years, about. 

MARLA:  And where was that? 

ELSIE:  I went to Anchorage, then I finished the last ones in Sitka.  And besides that, we had to do a lot of workshops almost every two years.  Then we have to do community -- a certified -- be certified. 

MARLA:  So was that --

ELSIE:  That's when you pass a written exam.  And we have to pass that every six years.  Then we have to do all the EMTs.  We need to be updated on it, like -- well, we have to do every six years. 

MARLA:  Take another exam every six years? 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  And then we have to pass up to EMT-III.  And it's -- it was good.  

MARLA:  Yeah. 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative). 

MARLA:  Did it take you away from home a lot? 

ELSIE:  It take me away from home lots. 

MARLA:  And how did -- that must have been hard on your family or --

ELSIE:  Yeah, it was hard on my family because I had to leave them.  When I had my training, my kids was home. 

MARLA:  Yeah.

ELSIE:  And my husband took care of them, and everything.  I have to be away for four weeks for training. 

MARLA:  And that was every year you had to be away for that long, or --

ELSIE:  No.  Every two years, about. 

MARLA:  Hmm.

ELSIE:  It depends on how we were going. 

MARLA:  That's a long time.

ELSIE:  Yeah.  Then we have to -- on the workshops, we stay about a week.