A Long Term Care Hero!

March 5th, 2014 by Linda Leekley in For CNAs, Honoring CNAs

It’s wonderful to read inspiring articles about direct care workers…and this article by Lori Porter certainly fits the bill!  Lori is a former nursing assistant herself who went on to serve more than 30 years as a nursing home administrator.  She is also  the co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants.

Ms. Porter recalls the first hero she ever met working in long-term care, a CNA named Stella Parrish.  She viewed Stella as a hero for many reasons, especially because:

“She gave me an attitude adjustment that saved my career in long-term care — and this was back in the days before all the buzz words of “empowerment” and being positive. Stella schooled me well, explaining that she was tired of hearing me complain about everything. She told me the nursing home meant something to her and she would not allow me to make everyone miserable. She concluded with a request that if I could not stop complaining and inciting negativity among my co-workers that I leave. I did stop complaining and thanks to Stella, I became a better nursing assistant and a better person.”

We agree with Ms. Porter that there are CNAs who serve as role models working throughout both acute and long term care.  As she says in her article, “You know who they are — the ones who pack a clean uniform in a bag and bring to work with them when there are winter storms approaching, the ones who agree to work that one last shift you don’t have covered, those you know have your back, bringing you information you need to know but that others may be afraid to tell you.”

Keep reading to find out what happened to Stella Parrish and what advice Ms. Porter gives to those who supervise direct care workers.  We think she’s right on the money!  And, thank you to all the “Stella Parrish’s” out there who serve as role models, embodying all it means to be a professional certified nursing assistant!

Comments Off  |  Read More >> 

Betty Perez: Hero of Long Term Care!

June 25th, 2010 by Linda Leekley in For CNAs, Honoring CNAs

Betty Perez, Nurse Aide & Hero

The Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) has selected Betty Perez, a nurse aide, as its June 2010 Hero of Long Term Care.  To honor Betty, the OHCA will feature her on their website throughout the month of June.  She will also be celebrated at the 2011 OHCA annual conference.

Betty works at Wapakoneta Manor in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  Her administrator, Lorraine Fischio, had this to say about her:

“Betty has the ability to stay focused on the residents’ needs…making them her top priority.  She has a ‘can-do’ attitude and her co-workers enjoy working with her.  She goes above and beyond the call of duty, coming in to work on off-shifts and helping out as needed.  Through her efforts, Betty puts a smile on the faces of everyone she touches.  She is our hero!”

All of us at Just for Nursing Assistants applaud Betty for her devotion to her work.  And, we congratulate her on her achievement!

Note: You can read more about Betty here.

Comments Off  |  Read More >> 

A Good Nursing Assistant Is a Hero

June 17th, 2010 by Linda Leekley in For CNAs, Good to Know!

The other day, I found a great essay written by Mark Laughlin for the online magazine, Smile Politely.  It’s obvious that Mark has a great appreciation for nursing assistants and understands their importance to our health care system.  Here’s some of what Mark had to say:

  • Nursing assistants come in all shapes and sizes.  They are both male and female.  Their physical appearances are different, but they all have bodies that withstand the punishing nature of the work.
  • They do a lot of stuff that isn’t really in the job description. They arrange the Hallmark cards next to the bed, dial the phone for residents who can’t do it themselves and clean out the whiskers that are clogging the blades of the electric razor.
  • In short, nursing assistants help people who can’t completely help themselves.  A nursing assistant can be the functioning arms of a quadriplegic, the eyesight of a person who is blind, the voice of someone who cannot talk.
  • Nursing assistants don’t just work with their patients and residents—they pretty much live with them, 40 hours a week, sometimes for decades—until the patient or resident is discharged or dies.  Want to know if a resident prefers angel food or chocolate cake? What television shows they watch on Tuesday nights?  How many socks they have in their bottom dresser drawer?  Ask the nursing assistant.
  • Nursing assistants have a tough, dirty job.  They are often verbally abused by the residents they take care of.  This happens especially in nursing homes, where residents are often angry and no longer willing or able to be polite.
  • Nursing assistants have to deal with the most intimate and disgusting bodily functions of their residents—they change diapers, clean up vomit, etc.  Residents do sudden and shocking things. Nursing assistants get bit—literally.  That kind of stuff pushes your buttons, but a good nursing assistant deals with all of the above without losing their temper and does what is best for their residents at all times.
  • Nursing assistant work is generally viewed as not being highly-skilled.  In a sense, this is true.  It doesn’t take as long to learn how to operate a Hoyer lift as it does to learn a new computer programming language, for example.  But being a good nursing assistant is more than just a set of skills—it’s a gift.
  • A good nursing assistant has a capacity for caring that can’t be taught; some people have it, and some people don’t.   For instance, a nursing assistant might have a non-ambulatory resident with developmental disabilities who is showered lying down on a gurney and always gets upset when the water hits him.  So, the nursing assistant tries different things and finally discovers that singing to the resident calms him down.  She even figures out what songs he likes best.  Then, she sings to him every shift—for years.  She doesn’t just sing because it’s easier and safer to shower the resident when he’s calm.  She doesn’t do it because she’s being watched for her performance evaluation.  She does it because she’s like that—because she cares.
  • A good nursing assistant is a hero.

Thank you, Mark, for your insightful essay (which can be read in its entirety here).

Comments Off  |  Read More >>