Jeff Rafeld, Technical Coordinator, has a 30-year history with CDC. He graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, and responded to an advertisement for a patient care technician in the paper. Jeff was hired in September of 1990. Although he originally thought it might be a temporary stop, he has been with the organization ever since.
More About Jeff
Following eight years as a dialysis technician, Jeff sought a change and entered the realm of machine repair technician, a position in which he found a great deal of satisfaction. That position gained responsibilities over the years with water system training and has morphed into the technical coordinator role. Jeff recalls his first machines, Fresenius D and Baxter 1550, while working at our East location.
Since joining CDC he has been visible at all units with a great deal of his time being spent at Shaker, Cityview (Eliza Bryant), Garfield and his present home of Warrensville, where he has been for the last 12–15 years. Jeff credits two former employees, Todd Main and Pat Gaston, with his development. He states the team at East gave him the base to be successful for the past 30 years.
Jeff enjoys “keeping things running.” He is always learning something new about the machines. With the new Braun machines, he notes there is still so much to learn. Once he studied and understood how they worked, he then had to understand how to repair them. This constant learning keeps him satisfied in his role. He still finds that he can be challenged by something he has never seen before. He enjoys this discovery and sharing his findings with coworkers. He also states that this role has given him skills that he uses outside of work, and he feels confident repairing anything at home, something that even surprises his family.
Jeff also states that although direct patient care was something he left behind, getting to know patients was rewarding. He expressed that not only do you get to know the patients; they get to know you. This relationship is something he misses, as he does not have the same patient exposure working in the technical department.
Over the course of his career with CDC, Jeff has trained many new employees. His advice, specifically to dialysis technicians is: “Don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself at least six months to learn the job, and another six months to gain confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we are here to help you though.”
While not working, Jeff enjoys travel, pre-COVID, of course. Even as a young child, he traveled to Europe for a month at a time. He recalls a time when he attempted to get a photo near a Queen’s Guard, getting in the way of his marching routine and was almost trampled. We hope he still has the photo. Jeff states that the organization has changed a lot over the years but remains a very good place to be. We are sure happy he has remained to support the technical department and all of CDC.