February 2022 Spotlight – Transitions CNA’s
For this month’s Spotlight, we sat down with Lourdes Cepero (Chicagoland, IL), Samantha Burgess (Central, IL), and Tammy Cheney (Central, IL) to chat about their experiences as CNA’s, what makes them love coming to work every day, rewarding moments, current challenges during the pandemic, goals for 2022, and what it’s like being a part of the Transitions family.
When asked what keeps them excited to come to work with Transitions every day, our CNA’s were eager to share their rewarding experiences and impactful moments in the work environment. “I love the hugs I receive and the warm hands that hold mine,” Samantha joyfully exclaims. “It feels good to know they recognize me and love to have me around them!”
Lourdes continues, “What’s rewarding for me as a CNA is giving special care to my patients, knowing my voice, my touch, and my smile may be the last interaction the patient may have. I feel privileged to have known the patients and their families, and to have been of some comfort to them.”
“It keeps me grounded,” Lourdes says. “Seeing patients and families going through the dying process on a daily basis reminds of the importance of life. Plus, I get to work with amazing people who are passionate about helping others.”
“It’s not only about the care, it’s about the lessons, stories, and memories. It’s also about the connections; we build such a deep connection with every patient. We walk with their families through some of life’s hardest moments, while helping patients transition with dignity and respect on their own terms.” Tammy describes. “My job is rewarding in so many ways. I love when I come in and my patients (even some with dementia) smile and know who I am. It really brightens my day to know that what I’m doing is making a difference.”
As far as current challenges in healthcare, it’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way most companies perform day-to-day business over the last two years, especially within the hospice industry. With new virus strains, protocols, and strict guidelines to follow, many private care facilities have introduced a “no visit” policy for their residents. “This has impacted how I communicate with families much more often.” Tammy describes. “Calling to let them know Mom ate breakfast, or she had a shower, or she was laughing today. Those little things mean so much to them; just a phone call makes such an impact.”
“Honestly, it is very scary, but we learn to adapt every day. It’s a struggle some days, but we also have to remember that our patients depend on us,” Samantha explains. “Some of them don’t have families, so we need to make sure that we are here for them to help them get through the everyday routines.”
Throughout the pandemic, safety has remained a top priority at Transitions, with each caregiver on our team taking proper precautions, fully educating themselves, and maintaining their everyday dedication to living out our mission to “always do the right thing.” “I’ve learned to be more self-conscious and aware of safety, utilizing my PPE and making sure each of my patients are being cared for in a safe way!” Samantha proclaims.
Despite the ever-changing work environment and firm protocols, our CNA’s remain positive and enthusiastic about the future at Transitions. Samantha states, “It has made me take a step back and look at how I do things differently now. I’ve learned to cherish what we have, and not what we lack, to adapt quickly as things change daily.”
“I feel that we have begun 2022 stronger, wiser, and more prepared than ever,” Lourdes professes, sharing her goals for the upcoming year. “My goal is to attend more training sessions to further my skills as a hospice CNA. I have a love for training the Transitions Care approach to others. To me, it’s a unique gift.” Tammy also notes that there are “always ways to learn and improve.” She and Samantha both plan to pursue their nursing licenses, with goals of becoming LPN’s. “This has been my dream for a very long time,” Samantha excitedly states, “And I will achieve it and stay right here with my Transitions family!”
The future ahead is bright for the Transitions team. Together, Lourdes explains, we are “a team of health professionals who can handle any challenge to provide comfort and care.” Samantha states that she’s never been a part of a company with so much care and compassion working so well to take care of each others’ needs.
“Transitions is like no other hospice company that I have seen,” Tammy professes. “I love what we stand for. If a family is not able to be there when a loved one is passing, one of us will be there – whether it’s a CNA, nurse, chaplain, social worker, or volunteer. Holding that person’s hand, letting them know they are not alone. I have never seen such caring and compassion as I have with Transitions. We are not just a team – we are a family.”
“I have a saying that it takes a special person to work in end of life care,” Lourdes tells us. “Well, here at Transitions Care, we are special people.”