Many people are recognizing our nurses, doctors, paramedics, and other front-line health care workers lately. But there’s another group of front-line workers who also deserve recognition for the vital role they play. They are the people who help those in our nursing homes and hospitals with intimate personal care every day. They are nursing assistants.

June 18-25 is National Nursing Assistants Week. It’s a perfect opportunity to recognize just how essential nursing assistants are in our health care system.

Here at Mount Saint Joseph Residence and Rehabilitation, we employ an amazing team of more than 80 nursing assistants. Like all of us, they have faced fears and uncertainties in their everyday lives through the COVID-19 crisis. Still, they come to work every day to be there for people who need them.

In long-term care and assisted-living facilities like ours, nursing assistants provide 80-90% of the direct hands-on care residents receive. They help residents with the tasks of daily living. They ensure that patient care plans are followed, charts are updated, and patients are fed appropriately. And in this challenging time when family and friends cannot visit loved ones in nursing homes, our incredible nursing assistants have done even more, reaching out to provide residents with emotional support to help ease their loneliness and provide hope.

Nursing assistants work long hours in physically and emotionally demanding jobs. They are, in many ways, the beating heart of Mount Saint Joseph. So, as we thank our front line health care workers, let’s recognize how important nursing assistants are during National Nursing Assistants Week. Send a card or visit social media to say thank you to the Nursing Assistants at Maine’s nursing homes and hospitals. They’ll appreciate a little shout out for the great work they do every day.

Dan Jackson, R.N.
director of Clinical Services
Mount Saint Joseph Residence & Rehabilitation

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