Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | June 25, 2019

An Unexpected Stop in 1979 Led to a 40-Year Career

It was Feb. 5, 1979 when Linda O’Neal was out on a walk and passed by what was then Raleigh Community Hospital.

Having heard positive things from employees, and looking for new opportunities outside the nearby hospital she worked at, she went in and applied for a pharmacy technician position.

She impressed a variety of supervisors and started work the next day. Since then for more than 40 years, she’s been a staple with Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Pharmacy Services.

“This is my family,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said the many bonds she’s created with coworkers are built on an interest to “pay forward” her expertise. Whether it’s how to best handle medicine or tips on interacting with patients, she’s quick to offer help from her decades of experience.

“She shares with us what we can do to improve matters in critical conditions and offers different perspectives to handle tough situations effectively,” said Cassandra Terry, a pharmacy tech who’s worked with O’Neal for 15 years.

Most important, O’Neal said, has been the lessons she’s learned from the variety of diverse people she interacts with, from colleagues to patients. She’s loved experiencing new cultures through food with her team, sharing her chicken salad (a secret recipe) alongside Spanish or Indian food.

“I’ve grown a lot during these years because of all the people with different backgrounds and stories,” she said. “It’s been so important to help me grow as a person and appreciate all the people we help at the hospital.”

To Terry and others, the feeling is mutual.

“When the pharmacy team sees her first thing in the morning, we always get a feeling of reassurance knowing we have a master of four decades of health care alongside us,” Terry said. “She is an excellent problem solver, skilled critical thinker, expert in her position and a trusted friend.”


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