Licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) and personal care attendants (PCAs) play huge roles in the lives of our patients. They’re the eyes, ears and hands of our care team, helping families and patients feel safe, cared for and comfortable. They assist patients with essential care needs such as bathing, dressing and eating, and provide emotional support to families and patients alike.
We couldn’t do what we do without them!
LNA Tonya Guyette, supervisor of PCAs and LNAs at McClure Miller Respite House and for our Community/Home Hospice team, explains how her journey began as a way to fund her education. It turned into a lifelong commitment to supporting patients and families at the end of life.
My story: Making a difference for patients and families
By Tonya Guyette, LNA
“Becoming an LNA at (what was) the Vermont Respite House in 1997 began as a job to help me pay for college and has become my career of 22 years. I graduated with a B.S. in Education and although I loved the idea of teaching the future, my heart was stolen by hospice.
“LNAs have the aptitude to make a real difference in the lives of patients and their families. Every experience as an LNA has enriched my life and given me the knowledge and confidence to provide superior hands-on care to people at the end of their lives and comforting support to their families and friends.
“I have worked with the most incredible colleagues across multiple disciplines from nurses, chaplains, social workers, doctors, housekeeping staff to volunteers. I have been honored to work with fellow LNAs beginning their careers who have since become nurses, physician assistants, social workers or nurse practitioners. Being an LNA built their foundation in the healthcare field.
‘Providing compassionate care’
“I have also worked alongside LNAs who have chosen this path as a second or sometimes third career later in their lives when providing compassionate care has become most important to them.
“My degree in education has facilitated my becoming an LNA mentor, training and mentoring new and seasoned LNAs to hospice care. Now as an LNA supervisor I can support and create a level of standard that fosters the growth and future career opportunities of LNAs and PCAs.
“Helping LNAs and PCAs gain personal and professional growth as they move forward in their career path has been rewarding and fulfilling!”