When Victoria “Vicky” Faraon arrives at Johanna Shores, she is focused on her passion: to create smiles through loving service. Vicky has worked as a Registered Nurse both in her home country the Philippines and at Johanna Shores in Arden Hills, Minnesota and firmly believes she has found her calling.
Vicky traveled with her husband and son to the United States through PHS’s International Nurse Recruitment (INR) program, but her extended family is back home in the Philippines. Although she misses her family, Vicky sees the people she serves as her extended family. Vicky notes, “each person needs more than just physical care; they need to be heard, understood, respected and valued.”
Joyce Peterson is one of Vicky’s “extended family members.” Joyce feels blessed to live at Johanna Shores and have nurses like Vicky to care for her. She frequently refers to Vicky as “a gift from God” and appreciates the many little things that Vicky does to make her feel important. Joyce says, “Vicky seems to have a sincere calling for this work. She doesn’t look at it as a duty but more of a pleasure to help people.” Joyce reflected on some recent health concerns and clearly remembers the way that Vicky made her feel cared for, comfortable and safe, “I love the feeling of knowing somebody truly cares and is looking out for me” she said.
Vicky embraces opportunities every day to build relationships with those she serves through her daily interactions and creating smiles with simple acts of kindness. “I wake up each day with a thankful heart and an energized spirit to be able to do my job with God’s guidance and provide the best care and services that I can” she said. Many times, this is as simple as listening intently to what each person shares with her and picking up on the things that are most important to them. In short, it is being present with each person she serves: present in the moments as they chat about happy memories as well as being compassionately present in moments of pain. “I believe God provided me this job to be able to fulfill a purpose and that is to serve older adults with compassion, love, respect and care that they deserve” Vicky said with conviction.
Living and working in a foreign country is not without its challenges, but Vicky welcomes the opportunities they present. “Immersing myself into a different culture with language barriers is a challenge. However, I see them as opportunities to grow, learn new things, value cultural diversity, embrace differences and in turn create a better version of me as a person and in my work as a nurse” said Vicky.
Since 2002, PHS’s INR program has helped hundreds of Filipino nurses find meaningful employment and migrate to the United States along with their families. Just over 25% of PHS’s nurses are Filipino as a result of this successful program.