This week we share a story in honor of more than 2,700 nursing assistants and home health aides at Presbyterian Homes & Services. National Nursing Assistants Week kicks off on Thursday.
“It takes a person of great heart to see … the wisdom the elders have to offer, and so serve them out of gratitude for the life they have passed on to us.” —American author Kent Nerburn
Monica Osunlana is a certified nursing assistant
with a giant heart, serving at Boutwells Landing
in Oak Park Heights, Minn. Her life is filled with so much joy and gratitude, she claims, “I just want to explode the love of God!”
Care Center Administrator Gavin Middleton witnesses Monica’s “substantial passion,” saying she is “not afraid to start a dance party in the middle of the hallway if that’s what it takes” to bring smiles to residents.
“Monica fully understands that we as staff are guests in the homes of those we’re serving; she always maintains the dignity of our residents,” Gavin continues. “Monica does this work not solely as a job, but rather a calling to serve and honor older adults.”
To Monica, it’s a no brainer – a calling she traces back to Nigeria where she was born and raised. “When I was growing up,” says Monica, “my grandma never judged or criticized me. Everything I did was great to her. She was so close to me.”
In the 1990s, Monica moved to the U.S. “It was so sad because just a couple of years later, my grandma passed away,” she says. “So, I felt I lost that contact and that gave me the drive to choose this field. I want to care for older adults and to feel my grandma around me as well.”
Reflecting on 25 years as a nursing assistant, Monica confides with a sweet giggle, “I always feel, every time I’m with older adults, I will show them love. They’re like a blanket for me, really.”
Watch Monica speak (and sing!) from the heart about residents with dementia:
We at PHS are grateful for all our nursing assistants. These individuals embody our mission, our compassion, and our commitment to person-centered care. To them we say, whether you have been with us for one day or three decades, thank you for your love, your skill, and your knowledge of all the things that truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at www.preshomes.org/careers.
You might also be interested in:
Now hiring: the most important job at Presbyterian Homes & Services
Nursing student finds inspiring mentor who helps her soar
Johanna’s story of becoming a certified nursing assistant
Love of God, family and diversity inspire Nursing Assistant Samuel Mutuku