October 12

Shining a Spotlight on Nursing: Chapter Five

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

With this year designated as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Assembly, we have been focusing on the registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants at Gardant and the assisted living and memory care communities Gardant manages.

Today, we shine a spotlight on two certified nursing assistants at two of the affordable assisted living communities Gardant manages in Illinois.

 

Dominque Johnson

Dominque Johnson, C.N.A. for Prairie Winds of Urbana, Illinois

C.N.A. at Prairie Winds of Urbana

What sparked your desire to become a C.N.A.?

I have always had a drive to help other people and care for them. I have a soft spot in my heart for those in need, especially the elderly.

What do you like best about being a C.N.A.?

I like being able to care for others and work closely with them. I want to give care and love to those who need it and see them thrive from their emotional needs as well as their physical needs being met.

What do you like best about working in an assisted living community?

I love the home-like environment. We are all truly a family here at Prairie Winds – the residents and the staff. I love being able to get to know and grow special relationships with residents.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life?

My grandmother has been my biggest influence.

What motivates you each day?

My love for the elderly because of my grandmother. I have this passion; that is what gets me up and keeps me moving.

What is your favorite memory as a C.N.A.?

All of them. I especially love when there are parties and outings and residents can do things that they used to be able to do before moving to the community. I love seeing them dance, sing, and go to the apple orchard and carnivals.

What advice might you have for someone thinking about entering the field?

If you don’t truly love taking care of the elderly, then don’t do it. You cannot commit to a job in health care just for the money. The people who need our help deserve to have people caring for them who want to be there and want to love them.

When you are not working, what might we find you doing?

Just relaxing and recharging to make sure my own cup is full emotionally and spiritually so that I can keep pouring from it to others.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I have been doing this for more than 20 years. I just appreciate so much the opportunity to be able to continually give back and provide for others. I am blessed and love my job here at Prairie Winds.

 

Tammy Franzen

Tammy Franzen, C.N.A. for Heritage Woods of Ottawa, Illinois

C.N.A. at Heritage Woods of Ottawa

What sparked your desire to become a C.N.A.?

I watched my daughter become a C.N.A. I was getting divorced and needed something career driven so I went back to school and completed the requirements for my C.N.A. certificate.

What do you like best about being a C.N.A.?

Interacting with residents. Hearing their stories. Assisting them with activities. Helping them stay independent which allows them to remain in their own apartment and enjoy life to the fullest.

What do you like best about working in an assisted living community?

Contributing to the active living lifestyle for seniors. I feel that I help make it possible for them to remain in their “own home.”

Who has had the biggest impact on your life?

My family. Being a single Mom to my kids. Having them be proud of me and me proud of them.

What motivates you each day?

Knowing that I can be successful everyday as a C.N.A.

What is your favorite memory as a C.N.A.?

Celebrating a 100th Birthday with one of the residents. Seeing how much she and the community enjoyed the party. Knowing she could celebrate the milestone with friends and family, and I was able to be part of it.

What advice might you have for someone thinking about entering the field?

Always be compassionate, loving, and caring. Remember you are taking care of someone’s family. Treat them like you want your family treated. Know you can make a difference.

When you are not working, what might we find you doing?

Cooking, cleaning, and spending time with my son and daughter. I also have four dogs – a Lab by the name of Dozer and three English bulldogs  – Bruizer, Buster and Bella. They keep me very busy.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I enjoy being a C.N.A. At the end of the day, I’m proud that I have touched someone’s life.

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