Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Sefica Muslic wipes down a room at Parkview Regional Medical Center. After receiving care at the hospital, Muslic decided to work there.
Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:00 am
Bringing sparkle and smiles
Parkview worker relishes her time on pediatric floor
Janet Patterson | For The Journal Gazette
Name: Sefica Muslic
Job title: Environmental services assistant
Background: Immigrated to the United States from Bosnia 20 years ago; first job upon arrival in Seattle was cleaning houses
If it's possible to have a love affair with a job, it seems Sefica Muslic has found the secret.
An assistant in environmental services at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Muslic tells everyone, “I am so happy here. I come to work and I smile. I go home and I still smile.”
Muslic, who came to the United States 20 years ago from Bosnia, lived in Seattle before coming to Fort Wayne. When an industrial work injury at her previous job sent her to Parkview for physical therapy, she noticed something special about the place and the people who helped her.
“I said to my therapist, 'I'd like to work here,'” she recalls.
Without medical training, Muslic wondered how she could get a job in a hospital. But, after a few inquiries, she found that environmental services was the perfect place.
“I used to clean houses in Washington,” she said.
So, the 66-year-old mother of two sons, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of one has put her cleaning and people skills to work.
“I started part time in another part of the hospital, but I got this full-time job in pediatrics, and I like this best,” she said.
Muslic has been with Parkview for three years. Her domain is the third floor in pediatrics, where she cleans rooms and bathrooms while spreading her cheer among the staff and patients.
In fact, she does such a good job at both that the nursing manager on her floor recently declared a Sefica Muslic Day and hosted a lunch in her honor.
“Everyone loves Sefica,” said environmental services supervisor Amy Kelham. “Her co-workers love her. The nurses love her. The patients love her.”
Parkview's environmental services staff is a vital and integral part of the care that patients receive at the hospital, Kelham said. Their jobs require employees learn policies and procedures that prevent the spread of disease and keep the hospital safe and clean for patients and workers alike.
Along with knowing proper practices, assistants interact with patients and their families. Kelham said the assistants' names are posted on the white board in each patient room, and all of them have business cards to give to patients and their families.
As she makes the rounds with her cart loaded with the tools of the trade, Muslic and her co-workers introduce themselves to the children and their parents in the rooms and hallways.
“I love the children,” Muslic said, adding that she empathizes with the young patients on the floor and their parents. She recalled recently learning that one of the children experienced pain during a procedure.
“I cried. His mother cried. He told me he cried, but he couldn't figure out why we cried.”
Muslic believes that being happy is an important part of the work she does at the hospital. “I love to smile,” she said.
And she gathers some of her joyful energy from the people around her. And slipping her co-workers a sweet treat occasionally is part of that.
“These are from my country,” she said, passing out mints that she found in a Bosnian grocery store. “They have a tiny bit of chocolate in the middle,” she said with a wink.
Although she is looking at retiring in a year or so, Muslic hopes to continue her work at the hospital in a part-time capacity.