From Cafeteria Worker to Telemetry Tech: Troy Woman Moves up at Beaumont Health

Heba Zaitouna enjoyed the time she spent raising her three children as a stay-at-home mom while her husband focused on the family sign-making business.

But, like many stay-at-home moms, her children were getting older and it was time for her to enter the workforce.

The Troy resident considered her options and decided Beaumont Health would be a great place to work for its competitive pay and benefits, such as health insurance that could help her family.

She started out in the cafeteria working as a server and a cashier.

The job was a great fit. She enjoyed working with the team at the cafeteria. She liked the supportive and encouraging environment she found there. The schedule allowed her to spend time with her kids and the health insurance she was able to provide for her entire family was important.

She also got to know caregivers from across Beaumont Health as they came into eat and talk during breaks. One day, a friend from the Central Telemetry Monitoring Unit encouraged her to apply for the training course for telemetry technicians as they talked over breakfast.

Zaitouna was apprehensive at first. She grew up in California and graduated from high school there but only took a few college classes and didn’t have a medical background.

But her friend was encouraging and really believed in her.

Zaitouna thought about it and decided she could always return to the cafeteria if it didn’t work out. And, she was looking for more in her career.

“I wanted my kids to say ‘Hey mom did it! She went to school and moved up and now she has a better job,’” she said. “I don’t want them to give up. It is always good to try and experience life.”

She applied and was accepted into the CTMU training school.

The training ran 13 weeks, twice a week from 6-10 p.m. It meant time away from her family – not to mention a lot of studying in an area where she had no experience.

“It was worth it,” she said. “The first couple of weeks were very hard and I felt lost. But after that, things started clicking.”

She credits support and great instruction from her teacher. He made the course understandable and accessible and offered evening and weekend tutoring, which she took advantage of, she said.

Zaitouna still remembers the day she passed the final test and moved from the cafeteria to CTMU.

“It was so great and such a great accomplishment,” she said. “I took a picture and sent it to my husband and kids and said ‘Look! Mommy passed.’ My kids were very, very happy. They said ‘now you don’t get to say you just work in the cafeteria!’”

Zaitouna is quick to say she loved her job in the cafeteria and saw it as part of the great care all Beaumont employees provide. But, she enjoys the role she has in her new job of providing direct care by monitoring patients in the CTMU.

“It feels great,” she said. “When someone is having heart trouble or their oxygen is low, I contact the nurses right away for help. Then we get the report back that says we saved the patient’s life. It feels great that I know that I actually helped saved someone.”

And, the additional income is a big help for her family. Now, her job provides more than just great health insurance.

She credits her colleagues at Beaumont for spotting her talent, encouraging her and believing in her the entire way.

“I am grateful they gave me this opportunity and they believed in me,” she said. “They still believe in me. Everyone here is very, very helpful and supportive.”