Monica Restrepo, a certified nursing assistant, was recently awarded the Imogene Higbie Service Award – Bronze Level for her service and dedication to the residents of St. Clare Home in Newport. The award is presented by Rhode Island Generations to an outstanding direct-care worker in the nursing home industry. Restrepo, who became a CNA while living in a shelter through a program offered by the Women’s Resource Center, is a graduate of Central Falls High School. She has worked at St. Clare for 15 years.
PBN: Can you tell us a little bit about your award and why you won it?
RESTREPO: I feel very privileged to have been selected to win the Imogene Higbie Bronze Award. Although the award is to recognize a direct-service provider who practices resident-centered care, it seems to me that is just what you do. I enjoy doing the little extras so the residents know they are special and cared for as the unique people they are. … To make that extra effort shows how much we care for them as individuals. I used to go to Macy’s to buy a certain kind of T-shirt one of the residents loved. ... I got as much delight out of that as she did.
PBN: Walk us through a typical day on the job.
RESTREPO: A typical day? There’s really no such thing, which is one reason I love it here at St. Clare. Our residents keep things interesting. I’m in by 6:30 a.m. I take the census, do the scheduling, inventory and deliver supplies – all the paperwork – and then I’m with the residents. I receive a lot of calls during the day and I try to keep up with the families as well.
PBN: What do you find challenging about your job and what do you find rewarding?
RESTREPO: For me the most challenging part of the day is scheduling: making sure you have all the shifts covered and everyone shows up when they are supposed to. The most rewarding aspect of the job is actually being with the residents. … You know, it’s that little extra care, it’s not such a big deal for us, but it’s a very big deal for them. You get close to people here, the residents, the families, the staff. •
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