How one woman’s care as a patient inspired her own UI Health Care career as an X-ray technologist.
Cassie Daily will never forget her first day of work at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics when her former care team members became her coworkers.
The 45-minute drive from her hometown of Blue Grass, Iowa, was familiar, as she traveled to the hospital in Iowa City a lot as a teen after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now in remission for seven years, Daily started at UI Hospitals & Clinics in July as an X-ray technologist.
“I’ve always been a huge science and anatomy fan,” she says. “Post treatment, most patients get CTs every six months and then you go out to one year. As I got older, I started asking the technologists about their jobs, what they did for schooling, what they liked. That’s how I got started.”
After completing her radiology program in Waterloo, Daily decided to apply for a job at the hospital where she received care. While she doesn’t remember a lot about her time during treatment, she does remember the uplifting staff that made all difference.
“One nurse would always try to get me to dance,” says Daily. “I also had a child life specialist, which is a really cool thing offered to kids.”
Kathy Whiteside, her child life specialist during treatment, says that seeing Daily as an employee fills her with joy and pride.
“Cassie has shown that while cancer might have interrupted her life, it did not stop her resilient and determined nature in pursuing a dream,” says Whiteside.
As a high school student, Daily served on the Youth Advisory Council for the children’s hospital, advising leadership, faculty, and staff on the patient experience through the eyes of a child. Now as a UI Health Care staff member, she is the one encouraging patients and families, like others did for her.
“Having been a recipient of the quality care that is given here, Cassie is now representing and delivering that care to others with a unique understanding and appreciation for the patient experience,” says Whiteside.
As Daily guides a mother and son through the halls to their next appointment, the mother asks Daily about her job—how long she’s been here, why she likes working here. The conversation turns more serious when Daily starts to tell her story.
“I think I made her hopeful because her son is going through the same thing,” she says. “I feel like I can relate to what families are going through. When I was going through treatment, my mom was with me all the time.”
Daily says her parents continue to be her greatest supporters.
“My mom believes I was meant to work here,” says Daily. “My parents are both just really caring, hard workers, so they’ve influenced my whole life. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”