Truly, it takes a special person to serve as a nursing assistant. At Kingston HealthCare, these compassionate professionals provide more than just basic patient care (feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, moving patients and changing linens) under the direction of our nursing staff. They are the loving hands and caring hearts that offer a friendly smile, an attentive ear for listening to fond memories of the past, and encouragement to make the best of each day.
According to the US Department of Labor, there are more than 1 Million nursing assistants employed in the United States . At Kingston, we employ 630 of them, comprising the largest number of our employees, and we take great pride in providing a positive, nurturing environment for our residents, patients, and our employees. In the US, we honor this special group of caregivers by celebrating National Nursing Assistants Week which takes place June 11-18. Now in its 38th year, this annual event is a special time to show appreciation for their hard work, and serve as a reminder for how the public and caregivers can work together to provide care for those who need it.
When you speak to the nursing assistants at Kingston, they not only take great pride in their work with our residents and patients, but you get a distinct feeling that these individuals are truly called to work as caregivers. “When I first started at Kingston I was unsure of my choice to change jobs from a different company I was at for 15 years. But now when I look back, this was my calling,” says Jessica Gerogosian, memory care nursing assistant at Kingston of Sylvania. “I was meant to work for Kingston. It hit me my first few weeks when I was taking care of a combative and challenging resident. I stayed with her reminding her that she is safe. When snapping out of it she looked at me and said ‘hi honey I love you and happy we’re friends’. Of course I cried because at that moment I knew this was place I needed to be.”
From assisted living to skilled nursing and specialize memory care, the nursing assistants at every Kingston facility are specially trained to not only meet the needs of residents and patients, but provide insight and support to their families as well. The entire team, including nursing assistants is focused on patient care.
Even though caregiving can be an emotionally and physically challenging role, that hasn’t stopped Kingston from maintaining a happy nursing assistant workforce, including a number with many years of service. Just ask Tina Kilkenny, skilled nursing assistant with Kingston of Vermilion, a 19 veteran. “It’s so rewarding to see patients progress and get better while they are here,” says Kilkenny. “I remember one patient who came to us in really bad shape with a variety of health concerns – I truly never thought she would walk again. But months later, I saw her in the rehab facility and she was walking! It’s wonderful to see it first-hand.”
Kingston HealthCare prides itself of providing not only a nurturing environment for patients, residents and their families, but in being a great place to work. Caregiving is a demanding role at every level – and can be especially so for hands-on nursing assistants. The company believes that happy, rewarded and appreciated employees give the best care possible. Through a structured employee appreciation and rewards program, to operating by the Golden Rule, Kingston recognizes the importance of maintaining a happy workforce.
“I’m lucky to be working at Kingston,” says Patty Salisbury, care assistant at Kingston of Marion. “The company (Kingston) treats you very well, recognizes your efforts regularly, and shows appreciation for doing a good job with ‘crowns’.” Kingston employees receive “crowns” as part of an ongoing reward and recognition program. Co-workers, residents, patients and/or family members may nominate an employee to receive a crown award for excellent service.
Kingston HealthCare invites you to join us in celebrating the diligent and caring work done by those in the role of nursing assistant, during National Nursing Assistants Week this year. Through their passion for and dedication to their craft, they truly make our world a better place, as noted by Jessica Gerogosian, “Providing hands-on care brings so much joy to my life. The residents not only let me into their world, but teach me things about the job (and life) that you’ll never find in a book.”
 US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics – http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes311014.htm#nat