Patricia Washington loves to cheer people up and make them feel better. For the past 26 years, Pat has worked as an STNA (nursing assistant) for Catholic Charities at St. Augustine Health Campus, located on Cleveland’s near west side. In her current position on the rehabilitation floor, she helps people with their basic needs, such as bathing and dressing. However, Pat’s caring doesn’t stop there. She loves to make residents feel special – bringing them new outfits from the facility thrift store, curling their hair, or spoiling them with a favorite bath product. “Sometimes a resident does not have family around so I try a little harder to help them feel better about being at St. Augustine,” says Pat.
Pat has loved the environment at St. Augustine from her very first day of work in 1994. “I like the variety of people. There are people of all backgrounds, all races; everyone is equal. Everyone is friendly and getting along, mixing and mingling.” Recently, COVID-19 has brought significant challenges for people like Pat, who are working on the frontlines in healthcare. “It is very scary,” acknowledges Pat. During the height of the crisis, Pat worked on the quarantine unit, where residents were confined to their rooms for 14 days. Staff from the activities department would bring cards, coloring books, and other activities to help residents pass the time in their rooms.
“People were missing their families, their roommates, and their normal activities,” says Pat. “The staff was very, very busy providing care.” To help residents get through the long days, Pat did what she loves to do best: “I developed a relationship with people and talked to them about their families, what type of work they did, and cheered them up. I often sing a song as I enter the room or play a little guessing game with residents. Usually, I’m rewarded with a smile.”
Pat is proud to work in such an excellent rehabilitation program that promotes independence for people. She cannot count all the individuals she has helped over the years who return to St. Augustine Health Campus after their rehabilitation just to visit and say thank you. “Sometimes, you don’t immediately recognize someone because they are well and look completely different,” says Pat. “When I see them healthy and happy, that’s the reward of a job well done,” says Pat.
Donations to the 2020 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal support St. Augustine Health Campus. To make a donation, go to www.CatholicCommunity.org/Donate or contact Karen Joyce at 216-696-6525 x1910.