Elsie Bergman

Elsie Bergman, Transcript Section 3

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MARLA:  And then did you deliver babies? 

ELSIE:  Yeah, I did. 

MARLA:  And do you remember your first delivery? 

ELSIE:  In '86. 

MARLA:  And what was that like? 

ELSIE:  It was good.  I didn't get excited or anything.  It was some kind of experience for me. 

MARLA:  Why? 

ELSIE:  My first time, that's why I delivered baby. 

MARLA:  Yeah. 

ELSIE:  It was fun for me. 

MARLA:  Oh, good.  And -- and did you know the person very well who you delivered? 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  Uh-hum. 

MARLA:  So that was the first of many? 

ELSIE:  Yeah. 

MARLA:  And what was your favorite part about being a health aide?

ELSIE:  My favorite part of, would be seeing patients at the clinic.  The easiest would be escorting them when they are not sick, only through appointment. 

MARLA:  And was that your favorite part of the job?  What was your favorite part? 

ELSIE:  I like helping people, helping elders with their medicine, help the medicine treatment.

MARLA:  And what was the hardest part about being a health aide? 

ELSIE:  I would say emergencies.  It's the hardest part with the patient who we can't take, who we can't help.  Really.  But otherwise, all we can put.  That part is really hard when they die. 

MARLA:  Yeah.  And what got you through those hard times? 

ELSIE:  I just go along with it.  I never tried to -- I never tried to let it bother me, all that stuff.

MARLA:  And what was it like being a health aide in a place where you grew up? 

ELSIE:  It's -- it's okay.  It's just, you know, we know everybody and we're used to them.  And we get along and we can think with some of them too, you just have to.  Then like we know their homes and home visits.  Then sometimes we go by boat.  We used to go over Alatna, Old Alatna. 

MARLA:  So you worked in both villages, then? 

ELSIE:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  We helped each other, me and Clara. 

MARLA:  Yeah.

ELSIE:  With the other side.  Like right in there, we went over. 

MARLA:  Yeah. 

ELSIE:  They are part of our home. 

MARLA:  And who is Clara? 

ELSIE:  She's the other health aide. 

MARLA:  What's her last name? 

ELSIE:  Sam.  Clara Sam. 

MARLA:  Clara Sam. 

ELSIE:  But she also retired. 

MARLA:  Was there anything that ever made you want to quit the job? 

ELSIE:  After working so long, you know, then when people never get along with you, I like to quit.  It's so much stress working, you know, when parties stay home with their family, help their family, it takes a lot.

MARLA:  Yeah. 

ELSIE:  And then there's some things we don't do, like other potlatches in other communities, we don't go there.  It's frustrating sometimes.

MARLA:  So what made you stay? 

ELSIE:  Oh, I worked along with my family.  I think the reason I stayed on so long was my family helped me a lot.  And they do the housework, cooking, and that really helped me out. 

I would be tired from clinic all day, being at the clinic, and there's -- somebody gets sick or gets hurt, we have to be there, that's beside the clinic hours. 

MARLA:  Did you --

ELSIE:  That happens a lot.