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Nursing Assistants: Providing Amazing Care

Published on Jun. 01, 2021

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Nursing assistants (NAs) work on the front line of patient care. And the names of nursing assistants are often found on the “MVP” and “Thank a Staff Member” forms filled out by patients responding to their care.


Positively Affecting Patient Outcomes

At Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital, Terry Zalud McKnight, NA, works on the third floor caring for many kinds of patients including post-surgical and orthopedic. She has worked in healthcare for most of her working career and has been at the hospital since 2017, though she was a graduate of the former Mercy Hospi­tal Cadillac’s nursing school in 1984.

“I enjoy my current position as an NA because I believe strongly in the ability to positively affect patient outcomes with compassion, integrity, respect, and communication,” she said. “I believe that the NA position is key in all four of these.”

She characterizes her days as a mixture of physical care, emotional support, a little humor, and a lot of compassion. In addition to patient care, she assists nurses, and offers support and compassion to family members and visitors.

“I am engaged by this work because I know the importance of it, and it is my hope that those who encounter me, during the course of my day, are uplifted by our interaction,” she said.


Combining Compassion with Practical Needs

For nursing assistant Glenda Aldridge, CENA, who also serves as unit clerk on the Maternal and Newborn Unit at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital, working in healthcare was not something she planned until she found herself in extended hospital stays and spending time in NICUs during the birth of her own children. Munson Healthcare job apply recruiting Nursing assistant

“Those were my first real experi­ences in the hospital settings and observ­ing what nursing assistants do,” she said. “When my first child was one, I chose to go through the American Red Cross nursing assistant training and take my Kentucky state cer­tification exam while volunteering at the local hospital.”

Aldridge focuses on providing patients with compassionate care and meeting practical needs so nurses can focus on the patient beyond the scope of her practice. In her role she takes vital signs, adjusts the bed, helps patients to the bathroom, remakes beds, obtains newborn vital information, makes patient charts, and cleans rooms after patients are discharged.


Improving Lives in our Communities 

Courtney Jones, NA, helps provide care for up to 24 patients on her post-surgical and medical floor at Munson Healthcare Ot­sego Memorial Hospital, which means she stays busy from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm on her shift. And she loves her role.

“I went into health care because I love the compassion and care nursing of­fers,” she said. “I have time to sit and engage patients, especially the older generation. They can be lonely and I feel like we make a really big impact on their stay — and I love that.”

Her typical day, after commuting from Johannesburg, begins with ob­taining patient vital signs and blood-sugar readings before breakfast. At 11 am and 3 pm the cycle repeats and in between there are a lot of call lights going off for bathroom needs, a glass of water, or an adjustment to the bed. After noon, surgical patients start arriving on the floor and she helps get them settled.

“When I am there, I do have hard days, but I approach them with optimism and helpfulness and lend an ear,” she said. “When you hear, ‘You have made my stay so much better,’ that is why I do it.”


Healing with a Smile  

At Paul Oliver Liv­ing and Rehabilita­tion Center, Kathy Mathews, CENA, cares for both long-term residents and patients undergoing a rehab stay. In her 13th year on the job, she still loves taking care of people. She joined the Paul Oliver team after working for a home health agency and providing private care.Nursing Assistant apply job Munson Healthcare

“I have a good rapport with all of my residents. I love them and they love me,” she said. “I love it when they say, ‘I heard your laugh and knew you were coming.’” Her day begins at 8 am with a report on the status of res­idents. Then she fills her cart with the things she knows she’ll need to meet the needs of her residents or rehab patients for the day. The people she cares for bring her to work every day.

“I love to smile and I love to laugh,” she said. “I love to provide good care and make sure all of my residents are safe.”


Become a Healthcare Hero

As a Nursing Assistant, you too can help people with their personal and comfort needs when they need you most. You’ll be caring for people in your community, while working in a safe and supportive environment.

Ready to make a difference, no experience necessary? Apply now to join our amazing team.