Fourteen years ago, pregnant with her first child and newly certified as an STNA, Artreece noticed that the St. Augustine Health Campus had an on-site daycare. “I called to see if they were hiring and they were, but I was a new nursing home STNA and you had to have at least two years of experience at that time. So I worked at other places for eight years and decided to apply again and here I am!”
Atreece has been an STNA at the St. Augustine Health Campus for six years. The nurses she works with describe her as knowledgeable and dependable and her residents light up when they talk about her. “She helps me relax because I know that I will be taken care of, even when it’s hectic,” one resident shares. “She remains calm and cheerful and you know that she loves her job by her actions and her attitude.” Artreece has earned the respect and admiration of the St. Augustine Health Campus staff, as evidenced by being named Nursing Employee of the Year for 2020.
She jokingly says that wearing scrubs as a uniform is what drew her into the healthcare field. “Actually, my interest in nursing began while I was in high school and was able to take some classes to become a medical assistant. I just love taking care of people and seeing them happy.”
State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNAs, also known as Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs) have the most day-to-day interaction with residents and provide the most delicate of care. They provide personal care and basic nursing care and are often the first to detect if a resident’s condition changes. Perhaps the most important aspect of an STNA’s role is preserving residents’ dignity and respecting their wishes. A nursing home STNA can offer up the greatest amount of love, helping the residents know they are still valued.
Being an STNA at St. Augustine is hard work. There are residents with multiple issues and a wide range of medical needs, but it’s the challenge that fuels Artreece. “I love that St. Augustine is a faith-based organization – and that our mission is to provide compassionate care to the residents. The trust that the residents have in me to help them – that’s what keeps me here.” “I am blind and she always makes me laugh,” says Carolyn, a resident at the Health Campus. “She remembers the little things about each of us; that I like hot tea or that I want salt and pepper on my food. I know that she will take good care of me and make sure that everything is done and done well. She talks to us, she leaves her troubles outside…that makes us feel better about ourselves.”
Likewise, it’s the residents’ presence that is a highlight for Artreece in her workday. “I love the conversation, their stories… seeing the pictures of their loved ones,” she says. “The smiles on their faces is the best reward.”
Being a nursing home STNA is a tough job, but it can also be greatly rewarding, as Artreece acknowledges. If you are interested in applying for an STNA position at the St. Augustine Health Campus, click here to apply online.