Employee Spotlights

Johanna’s story (part 4): Is it worth it?



The Nursing Assistant is “the most important job” at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), says Dan Lindh, CEO and President. In this CNA series, witness Johanna’s journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant. See the intro here.

By Johanna Fenton, communication specialist and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

In today’s story and video, I’d like to share about moments of pure joy I experienced on my last day of OnTrack Nursing Assistant training with PHS.

My day started early with coffee and one worry weighing on my mind: how to shave a man’s face. It was now or never — demonstrate that skill, plus several others, and I’d earn my certificate of completion.

Turning to my phone for any last tips, I opened YouTube and searched “how to shave a man’s face with an electric shaver.”

Absorbing just a fraction, I then sped off in the darkness to Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington, one of OnTrack’s rotating sites for clinicals.

Would you like to know how the electric shaving went that morning? With wide eyes, I pulled back his cheek and neck folds and shaved in buzzing, circular motions till his pink skin became smooth. Whew — no blood! 😊

So focused, I wasn’t ready for what came next, after lunch: waves of complete and utter peace. The sounds of harp music filled the neighborhood. I followed my ears and discovered the residents gathered around Life Enrichment Coordinator Rosie Brashears as she played hymns and Disney classics.

To the tune of “Jesus Loves Me,” Rosie began to pluck and the man with the freshly shaven face sang along:

They are weak, but He is strong!
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so!

I drew in my breath as I captured the beautiful moment on video without revealing his face or identity.

Watch the full 3-minute video:

Later I interviewed Nurse Jenny Merry for a story titled: A team’s ‘willingness to sweat together and serve God.’ I noticed she used the word sanctuary to describe the environment the team strives to create for 18 residents with dementia.

Jenny then paused and noted, “You know what? It is for staff too. Our staff — we all have multiple issues: deep, heavy stuff going on in our lives. But when we come on Bridgeway, it’s a beautiful thing to be forced to leave all that outside and to get sucked into 18 big reasons that we can forget that stuff, focusing on these folks and their worlds.”

Jenny concluded, “And then when we leave at night, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, there is a world out there! And that’s right, I remember all these troubles! But I got to leave them behind, while I gave … I gave myself.’”

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Finally, friends, the PHS ministry has a great need for caregivers.

So, if you have an interest, I strongly encourage you to reflect and, if you feel comfortable, pray. Contact PHS to learn more about the many opportunities to serve at a location near you. Share this news with your family and friends, too!

Johanna Fenton, communications specialist.  Johanna Fenton is a communication specialist who also serves in long-term care and assisted living communities. She wants to help others discover the rewarding path of becoming a nursing assistant with PHS!

Read and watch more in the CNA series:



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