When the contracting firm where he worked as an accountant closed almost 20 years ago, Bow Criddle, B.S.N., O.C.N., R.N., knew it was time for a change. At age 31, he embarked on a nursing degree.
|Bow Criddle (Photo by p.cunningham)|
“Two aspects attracted me to nursing: the science and the customer service — being able to assist people at tough times in their lives,” Criddle said.
His career journey drew him to join City of Hope in August. Criddle serves as clinical nurse manager overseeing the care of medical oncology patients in 4 East and East Hospital A. However, the ethic that guides him as he tends to City of Hope’s patients was familiar from another place altogether: Downey, Idaho, population 550.
Criddle grew up in the small town, the seventh of 10 children raised on a wheat farm. He and his siblings grew up to find vocations in separate career paths and settle in different parts of the U.S. His younger sister, a careerlong intensive-care nurse, proved to be one inspiration for his move into nursing. But there was another exemplar of compassionate care back home in Downey.
His mother suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neurological condition better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. As her condition worsened, Criddle’s father dedicated himself to her care for years, right up to the end of her life.
“My dad was the greatest example of empathy, of sacrifice and what it means to be a caregiver,” said Criddle. “When I read about City of Hope’s commitment to double-platinum service — ‘Give them more than what they expect; try to meet their needs before they ask’ — I thought, ‘That’s what my dad did.’”
In his duties as a leader, Criddle carries with him that lesson of what it means to truly take care of someone. He is excited about advances like electronic medical records that reduce the repetition of documentation and free up nurses to focus on their roles as caregivers.
“Basically, I’m here to help my nurses. I see my role as giving them the tools to make their job more satisfying, so they can spend more time with their patients,” he said.
The opportunity to deliver a higher quality of care enticed Criddle to City of Hope after 15 years working as a nurse and, later, senior manager in Phoenix.
“When people face cancer, they want the best treatment right now,” he said. “The amount of research that goes on at City of Hope means that we can offer patients treatment options they wouldn’t normally have.”