When she first began working for LVMC about 22 years ago, Socorro Herrera was an Environmental Services, or EVS, employee. She spent some time after that working in the Admitting department, under the tutelage of longtime employee Angie Guerra.

But most people will recognize her as one of the faces in LVMC’s Diagnostic Imaging department, where she’s been a Clinical Clerical Aide for about 18 years.

“The people that I work with, it’s like a family here,” she says.

A Lompoc High School graduate, she started working at the former hospital site when a friend recommended she apply. It was close to her home and she thought she’d give it a try.

“I like the interaction with the patients, helping them with scheduling,” she explains. “I’ve met a lot of very nice patients. They see me out (in town) and say, ‘Don’t you work at the hospital?’”

In Diagnostic Imaging, she’s responsible for making sure there are the correct procedure authorizations, and she schedules when people need biopsies or exams.

“The best thing is when a patient gets good news,” she says. “We do hear bad news. But we know they’re well taken care of. We have really great techs and radiologists.”

For the past few years, she’s also been able to help explain to patients who are scheduled for breast biopsies what they can expect in the procedure.

“It calms them down,” says Socorro, who is bilingual. “I tell them, ‘This is important.’ I know what’s going on; they don’t.”