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Beverly Hugo, Part 3
Beverly Hugo

This is the continuation of an interview with Beverly Hugo on March 15, 2005 by Karen Brewster at the Bertha Moses Patient Hostel in Fairbanks, Alaska when Beverly was visiting from her home in Barrow, Alaska. In this third part of a three part interview, Beverly talks about working as a physician's assistant, cross-cultural issues in health care, and use of traditional medicine. She also talks about the qualities that make a good health aide, her mentors, and provides advice for future health aides.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2004-17-05_PT.3

Project: Community Health Aide Program
Date of Interview: Mar 15, 2005
Narrator(s): Beverly Hugo
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster
Transcriber: Carol McCue
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, University of Alaska Health Programs
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

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Last job in Barrow as a Physician's Assistant at the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital.

Iñupiaq traditional healing methods combined with western style medicine.

Advantages of providing cross-cultural care.

Health subjects that were culturally difficult to work with.

Maintaining confidentiality as a health aide.

What makes a good health aide.

Other people who influenced Beverly in her work as a health aide.

Outlook on her life and how it was affected by being a health aide.

Advice for young people who may want to become health aides.

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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


KAREN:  We're back.  And you -- after we got off the tape, you corrected yourself on where you left the -- BEVERLY:  Yeah.  I think I left 2000, February of 2000 I left ASNA, or I worked at the Samuel Simmons Memorial Hospital.  KAREN:  Okay.  BEVERLY:  As outpatient -- as a PA, I worked 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.  KAREN:  Wow.  BEVERLY:  On any given day, I easily put in 10, 12 hours.  And it was -- I'd see walk-ins.  KAREN:  Wow.  BEVERLY:  And it was very -- it was a never ending.  It was, you know...  But people knew me and I knew them so often I, you know, was able to provide good care and timely and they got what they needed.  And, you know, I was able to provide for them because I know these people and they know me, and we had no language barriers, no cultural barriers.  I was providing cross-cultural care, you know, to -- and often I'd see quite a few patients, you know.  In a given month, I'd probably have the most patient load.  And -- and, you know, I think they got -- they got -- and, you know, we saw patients.  My goal was to clean out, walk, and load, you know.  And I would do that many times.  And if there's difficult cases, I'd refer them to the doctor on call.  And many times I've had to just take on even transporting them or referring them to surgery, you know, because there was no -- or the TDY doctor says he doesn't do OB, you know.  That's his -- when he got hired as a temporary doctor, this Montana doctor, the older gentleman, said he doesn't do OB.  And here I had an OB patient, you know, that he wouldn't touch her.  And he's my on-call doctor.  And so I had to just take it upon myself and refer this lady and grab a nurse and say, transport this lady.  She's having a tubal pregnancy.  You know.  Life threatening.  And if I didn't do that, I probably -- I bet you two bits this lady wouldn't be around.  And they even -- they were going to try to fly her into Anchorage.  They ended up stopping in Fairbanks because her life was in eminent danger.  So -- and that's one of the things that we also have to consider is, you know, traditionally, they've just always sent Barrow folks to Anchorage, you know.  And that's a lot longer, costs more, you know.  They need to think of, you know, if it's acute abdomen, you know, the closest place is Fairbanks, you know.  KAREN:  That's because the Native Medical Center is in Anchorage and that's the connection is why they send them there?  BEVERLY:  For, I guess, beneficiaries, yeah.  But for non-bens, I think the Fairbanks -- for non -- I mean, we have lots of non-bens that live in Barrow, you know.  We have a 10 percent of the population is the Filipino community.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  You know.  And so those are non-bens, so, you know, they -- they should be thinking of them.  And we have about 10 percent that are Tanik population, you know.  So, I think, you know, there has to be some kind of a -- I'd want to go where I can get good care and airfare's cheaper, and Fairbanks has been a good alternative for me.  And I have -- I'm doubly insured and I have my own RBMS and my husband has IBEW, so I've just chose to come here because I had my last three babies here and they know me here and -- KAREN:  Well, you had the connection having been the health aide in Anaktuvuk and brought people here. BEVERLY:  Right.  Uh-hum. KAREN:  So you said ASNA, Arctic Slope Native Association, they were running the Samuel Simmons Hospital -- BEVERLY:  The hospital.  KAREN:  -- at that point?   BEVERLY:  Yes.  KAREN:  They had taken it over from the Public Health Service?  BEVERLY:  Yes.  They had.  Uh-hum.  KAREN:  Okay.  BEVERLY:  But they still -- it's still -- they haven't made a -- you know, they have to start training indigenous people, local people from there.  And they have to do better.  KAREN:  Yeah, I would have thought that all the health aides in the villages would be local people.  BEVERLY:  They used to be.  During my time and era, they were.  But I think in the North Slope, they've gotten worse.  Because they just don't invest in local folks.  Yeah.

KAREN:  So when you were doing health aide work, did you notice or did you yourself mix traditional healing that you knew from your -- in your Iñupiaq background with the Western medicine you were learning?  BEVERLY:  Yes.  You know, I often would -- you know, like when we've had -- there were Suptaqti's (phonetic), people that would manipulate, and they were like Suptaqtiñik (phonetic) they'd call them.  They were the ones that often know the body anatomy really well.  And when people are having -- their stomach is just, you know, so tight that it's just pushing on their diaphragm, you know, this is what they would tell me, and then I would ask one of the elders to come and -- you know, I don't know how to do that, but can you show me.  And many times they just would, you know, massage to where the stomach wasn't pushing on the diaphragm.  You know, you work it down to where it was in its more natural place, or some of the -- some of the people that seemed to have constipation, you know, or a blocked up stool, it was often by massaging and manipulation to where you help move them along.  And some of the remedies of using the natural plants for wounds or eczema, that's not healing with the -- with the Western medicines, you know, where there's just no improvement.  Or when you have no anti-diarrhea medication, or -- so one of the remedies would be you'd slow cook flour on the stove, low heat, and kind of just brown it, you know, and then you -- you'd mix that with -- with some water.  And that would help with diarrhea, just that paste.  And one of the other things which -- when people have real bad sore throats was making that cranberry paste, or like it's -- it's like pudding, you know.  And cranberries, I think, have a medicinal elements in them to where it would -- probably loaded with Vitamin C is what I assume.  KAREN:  Yeah.  That's what I've heard.  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  And it just would soothe their sore throats.  And then I also, you know, did trial and error on what worked and what didn't work, and when kids have these real bad viral sores, you know.  Because most kids are in so much pain and so miserable and they cry so much.  And so I made a little solution with Benadryl elixir and Kaopectate, it's like anti-diarrhea, but it's got that soothing medicine in it.  And I'd mix them half and half, and then use these jumbo swabs, you know, they are huge swabs and they can fit in the -- the canister, and then you just paint all over where the lesions are a couple times a day or before meals to where they are able to eat comfortably and drink.  You know, that's one of the things that I -- that I use.  And also mixing peroxide with half water -- three-quarters water and one part -- one quarter peroxide to clean the mouth first, and then you use that solution.  And it helped them, you know.  They tend to get better and they are much happier.  And just you find little ways of, you know, making do with -- because we don't have no -- no big stores in the village, you know.  KAREN:  Yeah, I was going to say, it sounds like you had to be very creative and adaptive -- BEVERLY:  Right. KAREN:  -- to figure stuff out. BEVERLY:  Oh, yeah.  And, you know, that, our people are.  You know, our people have been adaptive, and I think that's why they've survived in the Arctic all these years.  And even without medicine or without -- it's -- it's amazing how -- how they, you know, survived.  And -- and I always, you know, keep that in mind, you know, that our ancestors coexisted because, you know, they -- they were the best in everything.  Or they -- you know, they were very aware of their surroundings and what -- what remedies that were used, you know, during -- before medicine came.  Yeah.  And I -- I have seen that.  And I -- and many times that's all I've had to follow, but you can have -- you can do both, you know.  And the neat thing about it is when you're -- when you're indigenous and you speak the language there, it's the comfort language of healing, you know.

BEVERLY:  And I must share, when I was in Seattle, my father had been medevaced for a heart condition and my family sent for me from Seattle to be with my father, and I was with my father and my mother for two weeks.   But during that interim -- during that time, you know, I've always gone to the Anchorage area CHAP for training, and those nurses, I know them and they know me, and those docs that have been there, like Dr. Tom Nischwander and Dr. Payton, William Payton, those guys, and we know them.  And anyway, I just happened to be there, and then one of the nurses said that, well, why don't I go and awaken one of the elders that just had gallbladder surgery, you know.  And she's in recovery right now, you know.  Why don't I go wake her up, you know.  Or go arouse her, you know.  And then I went in and I just called her by her name, her Native name.  And said, "Anniak. Anniak. Tiginaksigatiñ (Phoentic).  She would look at me kind of really groggy and she'd say, "Beverly, aiyuvik? (Phonetic) She'd say, "Beverly. Did she go to heaven?"  You know.  I said, "Naumi. Naumi. Mannitchusuli." (Phonetic) I'd say, "You're still with us on the earth, you're just recovering from your surgery."  And you know, that's the comfort language, you know.  And then she just was so happy to see me.  She thought -- you know, she knew I was in Seattle.  And she, you know, was being drugged up and from anesthesia, she thought, you know, she had -- anyway --  Anyway, as I aroused her and woke her up, and, you know, offered her comfort and -- and then some -- some couple gurneys down, somebody say, "Uvalangu."(Phonetic) "Me, too."  So she said when she -- that other person, when she tried to qari (Iñupiaq word - phonetic), you know, come to her senses, she heard somebody talking in Iñupiaq, and she said, it sounded so beautiful, so wonderful.  You know.  And you know, that's the thing about being cross culturally -- carrying across the cultures in your language, in your ways.  And the other fun part of it was, you know, when it would come to women's health or sexually transmitted diseases, you know, that was kind of a little bit hard for me.  And -- because, you know, we don't talk about that in our culture or we don't share too much information.  And I found that to be the hardest thing for me because, you know, I respect these older people that are older than I am, and -- you know, and they get in some predicaments like -- like that, and having to tell them and, you know, was -- was pretty hard.  But, you know, of course, I would pray much and told them that we have to treat you or, you know...  And -- or if there is mental illness, it was -- if somebody had some type of mental illness, it was very hard for them to seek care for their mentally ill.  And they would talk about -- talk about it in a -- not in a personal way so much, like in a different person, you know.  And that was just their way of communicating, you know.  KAREN:  Because it's something that -- that's not usually discussed in the Iñupiaq culture?  BEVERLY:  Yeah, in our -- our culture.  And then that is what I noticed, too, you know.  And so I would -- I would just go along with them and translate.   And when I translated for the doctors, you know, mental illness happens in all cultures and -- but I would, you know, I learned to translate to every -- whatever, verbatim, you know.  For a bit, I think I -- I said, gee, do I have to say everything, you know.  And then, you know, there are times when I edited, you know, but then I said, in order for the doctor or the medical provider to fully understand the mental status of the -- the patient, I learned to translate (Native word), or whatever, you know, and that's, you know, I learned that quick instead of these -- or even all the -- KAREN:  Both -- both directions, it sounds like. BEVERLY:  Yes.  KAREN:  Translate what the doctor might be saying on an uncomfortable subject.  BEVERLY:  Right.  Uncomfortable.  Or like with mental illness or with urogenital, you know, because that's -- that's the part we never really talk about.  And -- and, you know, I had to go over that cultural block -- KAREN:  Yeah.  BEVERLY:  -- in order to provide good care, you know, you have to.

BEVERLY:  And I remember when I was in PA school, that was my last object -- I mean, my last part.  You know, we all had these branching exams and where we would do -- I had no problem doing a woman's pelvic and breast exam, you know, but somehow I had this problem with, you know, the men, male genitalia, you know, we have to be able to do their prostate exam.  I remember I had all these excuses of, oh, my hands are too small, you know.  But, you know, that's part of the -- of the training is that I have to, you know, be proficient or have to do the branching exam, and you know, that was the hardest part, you know, was doing the urogenital exam and having to check for hernias, you know.  Oh, my, that was hard.  But, you know, I did do it, you know.  KAREN:  How do you get over the block?  BEVERLY:  Well, with biofeedback.  And just, you know, I had to leave my cultural stuff, you know, go beyond that.  You know, this is for his health.  And I would always tell my patients that, you know, we're having to do a rectal exam, you know, those kind of things are hard to the other gender.   And I would have to tell my patients that we have to check for any hernias, you know, and -- or have to do a rectal exam to see if there's any blood or, you know, just you have to be forthright and just do it, you know.  And then it took -- it took a while, you know, for me to get there, but it's part of my job, you know.  And it's all part of the body, you know.  It's interesting how each cultures, you know, have to -- the private or the -- KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  How we -- how we deal with it, you know.  KAREN:  Right.  Everybody's different.  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  But I remember I had this big cultural block just -- I didn't -- you know, I even didn't even want to do -- I mean, can't I just do -- can't I do a model, you know?  And they said, yes, we have a real live human model, you know.  But, you know, during -- during my training, too, in Seattle was -- the other part was, you know, dealing with mannequin -- I mean, you know, they were deceased, but they -- KAREN:  Cadavers. BEVERLY:  Cadavers, you know, they had donated their bodies for science, and oh, I just couldn't get over that one, either.  And I was so thankful that they allowed me the cultural -- it's just, we don't do that.  Yeah.  We value the human body as -- as -- not as an object like as a cadaver.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  And, you know, you have -- when -- when we're done, in the Iñupiaq perspective, when the person has died, you honor them, respect them, and bury them.  You know.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  That's -- that's the Iñupiaq way.  And, you know, like with donating your human parts, you know, that's taboo, you know, in -- in my culture.  And it was taboo in -- in my mother's time and in my grandmother's time, you know.  But, you know, like my daughter, she's -- you know, she's an organ donor, you know.  And me, I still have a problem with that, you know.  And I think that with -- they are just changing times, you know.

KAREN:  As a health aide, how do you deal with the issues of confidentiality?  BEVERLY:  Confidentiality is -- is very, very important, you know.  You have to -- if they speak to you in confidence, it is held in confidence.  And -- and you have to always protect that privacy of the individual.  And, you know, in a small town, it's -- it's very hard, but you have -- I mean, what's shared in here is shared between me and the individual, and that's the bottom line, you know.  That's -- that's one of the duties as a health aide, is to be -- if somebody shares with you in confidence, it's should be kept in confidence.  And if you have to talk with a doctor, then do it in the privacy of a closed door and -- and no listening ears out there or snooping eyes or, you know, just-- KAREN:  What about when you had to communicate with the doctors over the ham radio?  BEVERLY:  Well...  KAREN:  How did you handle that?  BEVERLY:  Sometimes, you know, if it's a life-and-death situation, you have to -- I mean, we don't say their names.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  But we share -- we say, I have a 38-year-old male, blah, blah, blah, you know, and -- but we don't say their names.  And then we also had chart numbers, so we could just say their chart number.  We did try very hard to keep confidentiality.  KAREN:  Did you ever run into any problems where confidentiality was lost because of people hearing over the radio or whatever?  BEVERLY:  No.  I've never had that encounter.  KAREN:  That's good.  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  KAREN:  That's good.  BEVERLY:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  KAREN:  Because I think that system would have been susceptible -- BEVERLY:  Yes.  KAREN:  -- to that. BEVERLY:  Uh-hum.  Yeah.  And, you know, chart numbers help, and only after they pulled the chart, then on the other end.  And that's what I did, too, in Anaktuvuk is that, you know, because of that confidentiality, I felt like it's important to have matching chart numbers.  Yeah.  So we got all of our charts all charted into the number at Chief Andrew Isaac.  And -- or in Tanana, you know.  We used those.  KAREN:  How do you think being a health aide in a small community like Anaktuvuk where you did know so much information about people that you couldn't share, did that affect your social relationships with people in the community?  BEVERLY:  I think -- no, it never affected me.  You know, what was shared in the exam room was left in the exam room.  I would greet them like I would greet anybody or talk about my family or about -- you know, it's just what was -- I never had any -- I just never did, you know.  I guess maybe because I just felt like what was shared in there was just there, you know, for that time over there, you know, in that time period.  But out here, we're free to be as community members.  Yeah.  KAREN:  So you feel like you got support from the community -- BEVERLY:  Oh, yeah.  KAREN:  -- when you were a health aide?  BEVERLY:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  I had good support from the Village Council.  I worked very closely with them.  And that's the thing about the present system is that I believe the Village Councils are not in the loop now, you know.  Before through the Village Council, they would approve of a health aide that's being hired, you know.  And I think a community has -- should have some voice in who they hire or who they feel is a competent provider or -- you know.  And I think that's the part that -- I know in the North Slope, they -- they don't do that at all anymore.  And that's, you know, if you're in a community, you have to meet with their leaders or the mayor or their council members.

KAREN:  So what do you think makes a good health -- somebody a good health aide?  BEVERLY:  I think if it's -- they have to have the backing of the community leaders, yeah.  They have to be supportive and they have to say clinic hours are this, so and so, they back you up, you know.  And after-hour calls are only for emergencies, you know.  They -- they back you up.  Or if you need something or a letter written to somebody, they can write a letter on your behalf of improving the clinic.  Like they can write a letter and say, don't hold field clinic when caribou migration is coming through, you know.  There will be nobody.  You know.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  Or those kind of, you know, community -- or, you know, if you want to hold dental visits, make sure the kids are in school or in -- you know, to where it can be easily more -- you know.  They -- they know the pulse of their community, their rhythm.  Each community has that, you know.  It has a rhythm and a time and some are easy going, really slow, and some -- some of them are really on top of things and -- KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  -- bang, bang, bang, bang.  You know.  But each community has its own rhythm and how they operate, you know.  And you have to respect that.  KAREN:  Yeah.  I was thinking also the personality of an individual that makes them a good health aide or not.  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  I think I was a good health aide because I was a middle child, you know.  I was number 7 of 14.  Sometimes I follow and sometimes I lead, you know.  Depending on the situation, you know.  And I felt comfortable with both.  And -- and the -- one of the -- I used to be pretty shy and pretty timid until I had a lady from Kotzebue area, Maniilaq Health Corporation, she came and taught assertiveness training, you know.  And so I think, you know, she came on early in my time, so I think it helped me to be more assertive.  You can be assertive and still, you know, not be bossy.  And this lady was Curtis, you know, her last name was -- I think her name was Helen Curtis, but from Kotz, and it really helped me get out of my shell, you know, because I was pretty shy and I never liked to, you know -- I don't know, maybe -- you know.  And I was not from my husband's village is the thing.  I always had that respect, you know, that I thought maybe there might be, you know -- well, nobody ever stepped up, so, well, heck, you know, if they -- there could have been somebody, but nobody chose to.  And I just -- you know, with the council backing me up, I was able to provide good care for the people in Anaktuvuk.  But it was with -- you know, we did it together as a team.  It's our community, it's our -- our -- and our community leaders help us, yeah.  And I think that's the part that's lacking now.  They've -- they've just gotten so bogged down in personnel rules and regulations, you know.  It's important, yeah, to give credentials, you know, to have a qualified person apply, but it's also important to have the Village Council -- they may not have the -- the full authority of hiring, but to let them know, or if you had a choice, you know, which one, you know.  KAREN:  Were you the first health aide in Anaktuvuk or there was somebody there before you?  BEVERLY:  They were -- there was -- Bob Ahgook was the first health aide.  He was called the chemotherapy aide.  Yeah.  And at that time, tuberculosis was really rampant.  And Dr. Walter Johnson and Dr. Phillip Nice had initiated that chemotherapy aides.  They were health aides that with very minimal training, mainly maybe vital signs and quick assessment in providing their tuberculosis medication, where a lot of people were able to stay home rather than being sent to TB sanitariums throughout Alaska and Tacoma, and I know they used to send a lot of them to Tacoma, Washington.  KAREN:  Yeah.

KAREN:  You had mentioned your learning things from your mother.  Were there other people along the way in your career who were mentors, inspirations, teachers to you?  BEVERLY:  I think some of the Suptaqti (Phonetic), Rosella Stone, you know.  She worked in the CHAP program and she -- I would observe her.  And you know, she -- she let me --"Iñyaii." (Phonetic) Like this, you know. If the patient was willing, you know, they have to always ask, I mean, if it's all right.  KAREN:  She would let you try it out?  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  And she was very -- very good.  And then I've also watched -- you know, before my time, it was, I think, Simon Paneak, did a lot of that.  But I think I moved to his village after he passed.  And he seemed to be real knowledgeable.  And then some of the childbirth, a lot of -- a lot of -- my father-in-law would assist his wife, my mother-in-law, in delivering babies, you know.  When babies were ready to come, my father-in-law would deliver his own babies.  KAREN:  And that was Ellen and -- BEVERLY:  And Clyde Hugo, yeah.  So they just -- and one of the things that they used to say is that many years ago, when a woman is in travail, you know, ready to have the baby, they often would have a lantern on -- on top of their house.  That would be an indicator that a woman is in travail, you know, ready to have their baby or something.  And -- and only those that can really assist or be helpful can come.  Not just busybodies or -- or, you know, that just want to see.  KAREN:  So the Iñupiaq had midwife?  BEVERLY:  Midwifery, yeah.  Uh-hum.  And I know in Wainwright, I got to know quite a few of the midwives there that did a lot of deliveries.  KAREN:  Uh-hum.  BEVERLY:  Uh-hum (affirmative).  I mean, not just seven, I just did seven in maybe one year each -- for each -- a year for each.  One delivery for each year.  Uh-hum.  KAREN:  And was there ever a time that you wanted to quit, that it all became too much?  BEVERLY:  I think after I had my third child, it was like -- it caused a lot of strain, you know.  And -- and I wanted to spend time to be with my baby and enjoy my -- this is -- you know, I did the smart thing with the second baby, I -- I took six weeks off and stayed in Barrow.  I rested and I -- and then after I had my third boy -- my second boy, Clyde, it was like I went right back.   And then there was no time, you know.  It seemed like, well, if there's so-and-so that's covering, you need to go see her.  And they would say, but they don't feel comfortable with her, you know.  Even though you have to go see them, you know.  And you have to.  That was the hard part is that having a new baby and -- and as -- as you get older, you know, you start to feel like you're not as energetic or don't have the energy to do all this, you know, that you had maybe single-handedly done when you were in your early 20s.  Yeah.  But as -- as I got older, it became -- and then I just had to let the alternate or the -- the other health aide take them on, you know.  You have to have a balance.  And there is time for -- I mean, every day, I mean, there's chores I need to do in my house and plus things I need to do.  I mean, some of the demands were lots, you know.  And -- and you have to communicate to the field office or, you know, the central office that, you know, this is not a good time because of the whaling or -- or caribou migration, you know for specialty clinics or field trips.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  And you have to let them know and then say it firmly.  Yeah.  KAREN:  At that time you didn't quit, you kept at it?  BEVERLY:  Yeah.  KAREN:  What kept you going that you didn't quit?  BEVERLY:  I guess, you know, my commitment to my people.  And that they -- they deserve good care.  And -- and a very supportive husband that just became Mr. Mom after -- sometimes I have to, you know, leave just uprightly while we're trying to eat or trying to do something, or all hours of the night.  But many times I -- my husband always escorted me when it's nighttime.  Or there would be a PS, Public Safety Officer, you know, if there is drinking or if there has been some assaultive or whatever behavior.  I never jeopardized my own life for -- my safety of, you know, myself.  KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  Because if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of somebody else.  So that was kind of my rule.  And it's been a good rule.   And you have to be able to not get yourself in a predicament where somebody can hurt you or harm you.  Yeah.  And that's -- it's always a possibility out there.  You know.

KAREN:  What kind of things, when you say that your work as a health aide and PA and in the medical field, how has that influenced your life personally, the way -- in your outlook?  BEVERLY:  I think it has helped me become a better person, and -- and a well-informed person makes better choices, you know, better decisions.  And information or knowledge is -- is good, you know.  And I've always appreciated learning new things, new material, new techniques.  I'm open.  You have to be progressive.  You have to be -- as my grandmother Faye Nusunginya had shared with me, you keep learning until you stop, until you die.  And you know, that's how I feel.  And that's my outlook in life.  And then you try to find the good.  There's always good in everything.  Even though sometimes it seems like how can anything bad be good, you know.  It appears to be bad, but many times it's character building, it's patience building, and you know, and -- and you try to find merit in -- or something, you know.  I've always tried to learn from even some mistakes that I've made, you know.  What will I do next time, you know.  Or, you know, I have to always -- I think in order to be good in anything, you have to be -- you always have to evaluate after.  And -- and I think that, you know, you have to be a life-long learner.  And I learn still, you know, new technique.   I learned to be a real good fishhook remover.  You know.  Because a lot of the Anaktuvuk folks go fishing with reels, you know.  And many, many times I've taken off fishhooks.  And one time I held a fishhook clinic, I think, in one of our -- one of our PA conferences.  You know.  Just -- just those kind of things.  You just learn to master things.  And then when you have to do a suture job, you know, you have to have good ergonomics, you know, you have to -- you have to have your chair a certain level and, you know, not to be -- because, you know, suturing can be -- take time, you know, and you have to be comfortable and you have to let ergonomics, your chair or your -- however you sit up or however low you sit the gurney to -- to have your body work for you.  You know.  And many a times, you know, I used to find these doctor's tools to be too big.  You know, they weren't made for a woman's hand.  And I always said, you know, you have to find -- I had to find tools that -- my medical tools to be what -- what was appropriate for my hand size or -- and I just, you know, these are my equipment.  I invested in buying them sometimes myself because they did me a service and rather than accept what -- what you're provided.  And many times we've had to -- I got to share, one time we had a three-year-old child with two frantic parents that brought the child in and he had apparently shoved a watch battery up his nose and it was stuck, you know.  And the doctor -- the doctor on call was trying to sedate him and trying to put him in a papoose, you know, hopefully to keep him from moving.  But this child was just full of life and he wouldn't -- you know, he wouldn't -- somehow the medication didn't even affect him.  Didn't even put him to sleep.  I mean, normally, you know, a child goes to sleep -- KAREN:  Right.  BEVERLY:  -- and then you're able to get on with the procedure.  But this poor child was just -- you know, they walked around for maybe an hour trying to put him to sleep.  He never fell asleep.  And then -- and then the poor doctor, I was trying to assist him and -- and we couldn't -- I mean, the doctor and I couldn't do it, you know.  And then I said, you know what, I'm going to run home and get my little scriber pen that I use for baleen etching, and it has a little magnetic tip.  I think this is going to do it, you know.  Because you know, the watch battery is metallic.  So I went home and got my little scriber pen, and so I washed that scriber pen, you know, sanitized it as best as I could, and then, you know, we laid the child down and everybody was holding him down.  I mean, he was still full of combative behavior, you know.  But all I had to do was put that scribe pen near the nos --  the air hole, the orifice of the nostril, and it just clicked and the battery went right on there.  KAREN:  Wow.  BEVERLY:  So, you know, you find ways of -- you know, rather than traumatize the child and -- I mean, I always think of, you know, if I do anything, I'm going to do no harm.  And that is -- you know, that is something we should always strive to do.  I mean, I wouldn't want to leave the memories of that poor child how they, you know, just gave him shots and then they tried to strap him down, you know.  And you know.  And then to this day, that little boy will say, that's my doctor.  She's a good doctor.  You know.  Just those kind of things make -- make it memorable, you know.  And the thank-you's, or people that are appreciative, and they are, you know.  And that's what made my job as a health aide and a PA very meaningful.  Yeah.

KAREN:  Do you have any advice you would give to young people?  BEVERLY:  I think being a health aide is a -- is a nice career.  It can be income for you, and plus providing a good service for your people because you are -- you are the best candidate because you are -- you've got things going for you, you know.  You are -- you may be Iñupiaq, you may -- you know your culture, you know your people's way of life-style, and you may even know the language.  So you have that going for -- for you.  And -- and that's -- that's much -- you know, that's half the battle.  And I -- I would just -- I would like to admonish young people that it can be some -- some people are health aides for their whole life, you know.  Or you can go on to PA school and become a PA, you know.  And it's -- it's what you're willing to put in.  How you're going to redeem your time.  You know, how you're going to -- it's important to set goals, you know.  Even small goals or small steps.  Those are important.  That's what I do every day.  In a given day, I say, what do I need to do.  I prioritize.  What's the most important thing I need to do today.  You know.  Those kind of things.  It's -- you know, time management.  You don't want to spend all day doing this and, you know, and you don't get it done.   Sometimes you have to do it in -- I'll do that for a little while, and I have to do this, and I have to do that.  You know.  And then just taking small bites or, you know, small steps.  Eventually, that's more productive in getting a task accomplished or -- or a task that seems impossible.  And it's always good to ask for help.  Ask from your elders.  Ask from your council.  Ask from your teachers.  You know.  People are always wanting to help.  If you ask and they help you, you know, you can get the job done more efficiently and it gives you a sense of pride after that we all did it together.  And you know, there is no -- we don't accomplish things ourselves.  And -- and we -- as a community member, we all contribute.  And we need to be working with the community, with the schools, that we -- that's how we get things done.  Yeah.  KAREN:  So it sounds like you are glad to have been a health -- health aide?  BEVERLY:  Oh, yeah.  It has helped me, you know, and -- and it has helped me.  And I'm glad that I did it.  And I would just encourage those that -- you know, to try it.  And then -- and you'll also find many good rewards.  And you know, with lack of job opportunities in the communities, that's a sure way, people will always need health care.  And it can be a good income.  And it also can be a -- and you're contributing to your -- to your people for the betterment and for their health.   KAREN:  Okay.  BEVERLY:  Yes.  KAREN:  Thank you.  Those are the -- the end of all my questions, and I don't know if there's anything else you'd like to add before we finish?  BEVERLY:  Oh, I think I've yacked enough.  KAREN:  I've worn you out.  BEVERLY:  Well, thank you for this opportunity.  And -- but there are health aides that have been at it a long -- and my hat's off to them.  And you know, it's -- it's at my time and need, I did it, and I'm glad I did.  And it was a stepping stone for me, for another step, and all of us, you know, life learners, we need to continue to learn new things and -- and I just love to learn.  KAREN:  Okay.  Quyanaq. BEVERLY:  Quyanaq.