November 8, 2023

Unique Connections Between CNAs and Residents Foster Joy and Healing

Jessica Brown, CNA and TNA Preceptor shares a moment with resident Jeanne McGrath

Thirty years ago, Evett Scott-Ramsey’s grandmother, Ethel Scott, worked at JGS Lifecare. You may say it was in Evett’s DNA that she felt a calling to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps. After 26 years in the field, when she heard about JGS Lifecare’s Trained Nurse Assistant (TNA) Program she jumped at the chance. “I knew about the good reputation of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home and when I read about this opportunity to be paid while learning new skills and advancing in my career to obtain my Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certification, it was something I could not pass up,” remarked Evett. “I love what I do and making a difference in the residents’ lives. I feel my greatest impact is my ability to build close relationships with the residents and lift their spirits with my silly antics, and by just being a good listener.”

Sherry Dickerman, one of Evett’s residents at Sosin Center for Rehabilitation, agreed, “Evett is a warm and caring person who can anticipate your needs when recovering from an illness. Having someone like Evett caring for you and offering the encouragement you need is remarkable medicine. It is so reassuring to know that the person caring for you really cares.”

This is a common story at JSG Lifecare. The special bonds between our staff and residents are rooted in deep connections fostered through mutual respect and acts of lovingkindness, big and small.

Jessica Brown never expected to work at JGS Lifecare for 30 years. As she celebrated that milestone anniversary, she reflected on a nursing career that has given her an abundance of joy and a satisfying career. “I had just turned 16 and knew I wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure how,” recalled Jessica. After researching various options, she decided to become a CNA and never looked back. Jessica has been a guiding light at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home for residents, staff members, and families. In 2009, Jessica received the JGS Lifecare President’s Award for her exceptional service.

A typical day for Jessica begins at 6 am when she wakes and helps her residents prepare for the day. She assists them with their meals, takes walks or reads with them, and accompanies them to daily activities. Jessica believes simply listening to people’s stories can be therapeutic. Her hands-on approach has resulted in the gratitude of residents and families. For Jessica, getting to know the residents and hearing about their lives is important to her, “This is so much more than a job to me.”

“When Jessica comes into my room in the morning, she is a ray of sunshine. She always smiles and offers me a kind and upbeat greeting, it’s a great way to start my day,” remarked Jeanne McGrath, a resident in Jessica’s nursing household. “She takes the time to know you and just what you need. She has been here a while so it comes with experience and good listening. She offers me good advice and even though I am 98 I feel like she is a mother to me! You can tell that Jessica loves her job. She is a hard worker, never standing still, and she really cares. She makes me feel special!”

Working as a CNA means the world to Jessica, “I always wanted to be in the nursing profession. I like being with people. I like helping people. Clearly, I love what I do.”

Jessica shares the skills she has honed over the last 30 years as a preceptor in our TNA Program, which offers staff 100 hours of online and clinical training, all free of charge to help individuals get their Certified Nurse Assistant licensure. In this role, Jessica educates and mentors students in the program. As Jessica puts it, “The high-quality care given by the JGS staff is such an important part of our culture. I am proud to teach the TNA’s how to take care of people the way they deserve to be cared for.”

Click here to read this story in the digital version of Lifelines Magazine, pages 4-5.