Kyle Needham, 35, grew up in San Jose and around the Bay Area of California. He moved to Nashville about two and a half years ago when his boss asked him to relocate.
Kyle can’t say he didn’t enjoy growing up in California. He said they had a little bit of everything around as a kid including the beach, the snow, and Disneyland.
“As I child, I loved it,” he said. “I wouldn’t have changed it at all by any means.”
the NASHVILLE MOVE
Before moving to Nashville, Kyle had never had a reason to venture out and live further than about an hour and a half from where he was born.
“An opportunity came up with the company I work for, and I wasn’t married with kids or anything,” he said. “I’ve been working with my boss for about 12 years now, and he asked if I’d like to be his eyes and ears out here for a group he acquired. I said I’d give it a shot, and here I am.”
When Kyle arrived in Nashville, he came in with an open mind.
“Yeah, it’s the music capital, and country music is big, but I didn’t come here with the idea that everyone was in cowboy boots or anything,” he said. “I knew there were a lot of schools so with that I assumed there was a lot of diversity and culture and that’s what I’ve noticed.”
He said Nashville is a lot slower than California, but not in a bad way.
“It was a change of pace. However, Nashville itself seems to be pretty progressive in regards to the perceptions of the South for people who had never been out this way. I never had before moving here. It was a new experience altogether,” he said.
In the Bay Area, he said people seemed more focused on themselves and where they were going. He said everyone seemed to be in a hurry and moved in a big pack together.
“Here people take a little more time. I guess I would say they take the time to appreciate things a bit more and I would say it’s much friendlier. It was almost weird at first, like why is this person talking to me, and what do they want?” he said with a laugh.
On nights and down time, Kyle said his time in Nashville is spent exploring new places and restaurants, checking out the state parks. He said once in a while he also likes to try and mess around on the guitar, but what he loves is drawing.
“It’s something that started as a kid. I think I got that from my grandfather. He was very into art,” he said. “For a while there, I got too busy and wasn’t doing it, but just recently picked it back up and rediscovered my love for it.”
As a career, Kyle is a perioperative blood management specialist.
“Ultimately, my role is to savage blood being lost in a surgery and recover as much as possible to get it back into the patient,” he said. “It’s kind of like a recycling process if you will.”
He said he likes being in the health care industry and being in the hospital. The company he works for is contracted throughout the Nashville area, so he visits multiple hospitals throughout the week.
Out of high school, Kyle was working as a manager of a coffee cart inside the lobby of a hospital.
“I started hearing the stories about the stuff people got to see. Based on hearing all these stories, I realized I had an interest in it,” he said. “I eventually got a job in the operating room, and that’s when I met my boss. He asked if I wanted to come and work for his group and looking back, I’m glad I did.”
Kyle said he likes that he’s out and about and not just in one hospital.
“The cliché thing to say is that it’s very rewarding, but it is. It’s great when you see a case you’re involved in, and things are looking like they’re on the downside, but in the end, they turn up great. It’s a good feeling to walk away with that.”
He said the most challenging thing about his job is that it is not the clinical side that gets difficult but the emotional side.
“I’ve seen some things, and sometimes I go home and shut everything off and just lay there and try to decompress,” he said. “When you do something long enough there’s always room to keep learning but you can also become very proficient in what you do. I think once I finally reached that point it was more about the days where something doesn’t go right with the case in general.”
Kyle said he loves children and said it can be intense to see a child with something severe. He said the job includes things you don’t always want to see and that can be difficult.
“Again with the clichés but, don’t hesitate to tell the people you love how you feel. Don’t hesitate to give them a hug. We all have our differences but set them aside as quickly as you can because even quicker than that something can happen and you can’t ever get those moments back again.”
a CITY and a COMMUNITY
Kyle said one of the best things about Nashville is that it’s small enough to where he was able to figure out his surroundings without too much trouble.
But, of course, he misses home.
“Coming out here after 33 years of living in the same place and knowing where everything is and having friends and family to not knowing a single thing was a huge adjustment but Nashville isn’t that big, so I was able to pick things up pretty quickly here.”
Kyle said just in the last two and a half years, he’s seen the big growth and change.
“As welcoming and as nice as the locals have been, I also hear their complaints, and I get,” he said. “As busy and crowded as the Bay Area is, it’s still definitely going on out there too. I get the concerns and the worries and even just the general annoyances of the people who have been here.”
He said there are two sides of the issue and he sees both.
“I also think it’s good for the city that new restaurants and businesses are popping up. It creates great opportunities for people who want to start businesses and lives here.”
Kyle likes the community of Nashville and defined the word community as a group of people from various backgrounds and cultures that work together and embrace each other’s differences.
“We can learn from one another. We don’t have to take on another person’s lifestyle but we can learn how to work with theirs, and they can learn how to work with ours with the idea of moving forward and progressing for the betterment of the future.”
Clinically speaking, he said when everyone is working together with one goal, a sense of community has to be developed.
“If you do think differently about politics or religion or whatever gets people so fired up these days, when you realize in the end you have the same goal those things don’t matter.”
Kyle said in the future he’s seeking opportunities to further his education to branch out to a higher level, wherever that may lead. He said he wants to reevaluate things shortly and to decide which path he wants to jump on next.
Thanks for reading Nashville!