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Touching the patients’ hearts

Duygu Yildirim is an operator at Getinge’s factory in Antalya. But she also considers herself being a caregiver, as her job contributes to save lives. The products she works with are literally touching the patients’ hearts. As part of joining the celebration of World Heart Day and driving awareness to heart health, we are now stepping inside the factory to see what a work day is like for Duygu. Come along!

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Duygu Yildirim always starts her day with a big breakfast, sometimes together with colleagues from the factory to kick off the day.

“In Turkey we are passionate about breakfast. It provides energy to last throughout the day”, she says.

It was the excitement about the medtech industry and the fact that Getinge have products that makes an impact that made her apply for the job as an operator five years ago, and she has not regretted it since.

“I work with solutions that can help save lives. What could possibly be of greater importance? Our products literally touch the patients’ hearts”, she explains.Duygu1 w500

Duygu works at a production line for reservoirs that are used with custom tubing packs to store blood and prevent it from foaming. The product works as an artificial heart when a patient is undergoing open heart surgery, for example.

In the beginning of each shift Duygu and her colleagues go through the daily tasks together. It is important that they are fully aligned and focused, as the end product they produce will be directly connected to the patient’s blood.

“Our two shifts complete about 600 reservoirs every day. I work at the end station to do the final controls before the product is shipped off to the customers.”

The products are manufactured in a clean room, a sterile environment. Getting in and out of it is an advanced procedure of shifting clothes, entering different zones and taking all necessary actions to prevent contamination.

“I go in and out about six times a day and have become quite fast at doing it by now”, she says with a smile and put on a new set of gloves.

Duygu passes a large whiteboard and pulls up a note from her pocket.

“Whenever someone has ideas for improvement we put it on this board. Once a month every contributor pitches their idea and we decide together if we will proceed or let it fall.”

People often get excited when they listen to Duygu explaining her work.Duygu2 w500

“They ask me ‘isn’t it a bit scary to have that responsibility?’. And of course it is; we need to be constantly on our toes to secure quality, but the team is very professional”.

The most memorable day at work was when she was promoted Vice Group Leader.

“It was one of the happiest days in my life. To earn that trust in such an amazing team. I really love the people I work with and it is an honor to step in as leader sometimes.”

In the future Duygu hopes to get the chance to work with product development, and she is particularly interested in the quality aspects.

“It makes me sad that people can get critically ill, but it also comforts me that our products actually contribute to save lives. I sometimes feel that I am also a caregiver, part of the reason why a patient gets well. There is a lot of beauty in that, and in the end of the day it makes me feel happy when I leave the factory floor.”


Facts Duygu Yildirim

Age: 28 years
Graduated in Hydro Biology Engineering at the University of Ege
Favorite shift: Day shift
When she was a kid she wanted to become: An Interior Designer
Does outside of work: Shopping and spending time with family