I saw Pat a few months ago on one of her many visits to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. It was a beautiful spring day and she was visiting her mother so they could take in the sunshine together. I sought her out because I wanted to ask her to elaborate on feedback she sent in about Nomfundo Woods Mzamo, a certified nursing assistant at HRC, who she nominated for the “Hebrew SeniorLife ROCKS*” award.
Pat was happy to speak with me at length about the care Nomfundo has provided her mother throughout her time living at HRC. The first thing Pat told me is that Nomfundo has empathy, which she believes is very important.
“Nomfundo can see when my mother is having a bad day and she will bring a smile and spend time with her. Just asking ‘how are you’ or saying, ‘have a good night’s rest.’ It’s all of the little things she does that make a big difference.”
Pat’s mother has known Nomfundo since the first day she moved into HRC over a year ago. Pat says, “Nomfundo has a kindness about her that brings so much joy to my mother and all of the residents.”
It’s important to remember that although Nomfundo and CNAs like her make it look easy, the work of a CNA is decidedly not. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we understand the need to recognize their dedication and commitment to our residents. Pat was kind enough to share her experiences with Nomfundo and call our attention to Nomfundo’s hard and gracious work. In doing so, Pat reminds me of the many CNAs at HRC, those who don’t take regular lunch breaks because their residents might need them, the ones who bring special treats from home for the residents, who work around the clock when we experience emergency situations, like last winter’s snow storms in Boston.
As Pat told me, “My mom has lots of good people around her. She is never alone.” CNAs rotate in and out of residents’ lives every day—but the connections they are able to make, remembering a resident’s favorite food or an activity they prefer or a song they love to listen to, does more than brighten their day, it creates a bond that truly makes HRC a home for our residents.
With Pat’s approval, I have included her nomination letter supporting Nomfundo below. As an HSL employee, I witness many wonderful interactions between residents and staff but I know it is far more meaningful when a fellow staff member receives recognition directly from a resident or their family members. After all, it is their health and happiness that we strive to ensure. They are the reasons we do what we do.
Nomfundo is doing a wonderful job taking care of our mom. She is very professionals and patient, and communicates in a kind and calm manner. She inspires our mom and makes her laugh. Nomfundo has the talent and skills plus the willingness to listen that makes residents feel safe and comfortable, which is so important. Her dedication and compassion reflects positively on Hebrew SeniorLife’s commitment to the quality of life for all residents.
*HSL ROCKS Recognizing Outstanding Contributions, Kindness & Success. HSL rewards and recognizes employees who perform beyond expectations. Nominations will result in five finalists—chosen from across HSL—who will be acknowledged in meaningful ways for their outstanding contributions, on a quarterly basis. And, one employee or team will be named the “HSL Employee/Team of the Quarter.”