QMA (Qualified Medication Aide) Organization
Years of Service at Organization: 45 years
In 1973, just five years after this facility opened its doors, this individual began her career as a Junior Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Her starting pay was $1.36 per hour. Following high school graduation, she became and Senior Certified Nursing Assistant, and made $1.90 per hour. If you were to ask her, she would tell you at that time she thought she was ‘rolling in the big bucks’. In 1980, this individual received her Qualified Medication Aide (QMA) license and began working in the assisted living wing of the facility. Later in 1986, she became the Ward Clerk/Scheduler. Some of her responsibilities included reordering/restocking medications and supplies, as well as managing the schedule for nursing staff for all three shifts. She even remembers doing all of this without a computer.
In the 1990’s, this individual returned to her work as a CNA and QMA, and for a period of time worked in the activities department. She was one of the very first staff members to work in the dementia care unit of the facility. Of all the positions she has worked, her time in the dementia care unit has been her favorite. She even said, “There is something about being around the residents with dementia, they just hold a special place in my heart.”
“This individual is loving, kind hearted, and cares deeply for the residents,” stated the Memory Care Unit Manager of this facility. “She treats the residents like her own family.”
This individual has watched this facility grow from the ground up. She remembers when the facility only offered a small nursing wing. Now, it houses around 300 residents offering all levels of care. In fact, during her time working in this facility, she has had the opportunity to serve three generations from one family. “I remember when I first started, I used to know everyone that worked here, now we have so many employees, it is hard to know everyone,” said this individual.
“This individual, for the past 45 years, has worked in direct resident care for this facility,” stated the VP of Healthcare Services for the community. “She has always treated the residents with the respect, loyalty, and compassion that they deserve. In 2001, she deservingly received the Life Time Achievement Stella Parrish award from NAGNA. She values her coworkers and works well as part of a team. We are so fortunate to have this individual working for our facility.”
This individual even served the residents during the blizzard of 1978. “I remember a large payloader picking me up at my house and taking me in to work,” said this individual. “I had to stay and work 12-hour shifts and then help out during my off-shifts just because we needed so much help. I was there for 4 nights and 5 days before I could return home.”
After 45 years of service, this individual would tell you she calls this place home. “I have grown very close to the residents and co-workers,” said this individual. “I consider them as part of my family.” One resident became very close to her heart many years back. This resident did not have any family. During Christmas and other holidays throughout the year, this individual would bring her children to the facility, and they would celebrate the holidays together as if they were family.
“I have worked with this individual for almost 40 years, and she has always been kind, respectful, and loving to the residents, their families, and her coworkers,” stated a LPN of this facility. “Her lifetime of service for this facility has created a wonderful legacy and high standard for everyone employed in healthcare to follow.”
When asked why she has chosen to work on the frontline for all these years, she responded that the residents are just special to her, and they hold a piece of her heart. There could not be a more deserving individual to receive recognition for 45 years of service.