Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Coming from a large family, Gearldine Stallsworth, housekeeping team lead at Saint Joseph Berea, found herself at home when she started as a housekeeper nearly 13 years ago.
“This is my hospital family,” Gearldine said. “Even when I’m on vacation for a week, I’m ready to come back to work.”
Gearldine, who was recently named employee of the quarter at Saint Joseph Berea, carries some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the organization – an accomplishment she’s proud of and wants to maintain.
“Taking care of patients is my priority,” Gearldine said. “Patients like to be talked to and want to be asked how their morning is, if they slept well. We’ve had many swing patients and I had a few who went home in the last few weeks who told me I was one of their reasons they got to feeling better. That made me feel really good.
“To tell you the truth, I was a nervous wreck when I first started here. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I got used to going into patient rooms and starting up conversations with them. I started to receive some good compliments, so it felt really good and here I am, 12 and a half years later.”
As a housekeeping lead, Gearldine said she keeps track of orders, moves around her patient rooms cleaning, managing discharge schedules and more.
“You can’t get to feeling better unless your room is clean and smells nice,” Gearldine said. “No one else can do their job until we come in and do ours. Cleaning is an important thing and, to me, is one of the key factors in getting well. It makes me feel good at the end of the day.”
A Rockcastle County native, Gearldine grew up with her parents, nine siblings and extended family as neighbors in the unincorporated community of Clear Creek.
“We fought a lot, but we’d get out and swing on grape vines, had our own softball team, football team – we did everything you could do outside,” Gearldine said. “We had a really good time. We called it Cope Holler because most of us were Copes, and there was a lot of us living there.”
Gearldine married her husband and had two daughters and three grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys going on shopping trips with her daughters to outlets in Simpsonville and Sevierville, Tennessee.