EveryStep Celebrates CNAs and Aides

EveryStep CNAs and Aides

National Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Week, June 13 to 19 this year, is a time to honor the challenging work of assistant nurses. The history of CNAs dates to World War I when hundreds of young women were trained to care for wounded soldiers under the American Red Cross.

Today, CNAs and aides continue to play a vital role in patient care and EveryStep celebrates the skilled individuals who make it possible to provide compassionate care to our hospice and home care patients.

Jo Heidt is a hospice aide with the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Pleasant. She says her CNA work is the most rewarding she has ever done and because she cares for patients in their homes, her day includes a lot of “windshield time” as she travels from patient to patient. “It’s an honor to be able to help people at this point in their journey. As a care partner, I get that wonderful opportunity to provide one-on-one care with very fragile people,” says Jo. “I try to give them pride and dignity.”

Part of that effort is Jo’s passion for creating fingerprint cards and taking photos of her patients’ hands – creating touching legacies for patients’ family members. “If these hands could talk, what stories would they tell us? How many children have they cuddled? How many cookies have they made? How many fields has this farmer driven? We celebrate children when they’re born into this world with feet and handprints, why don’t we celebrate a life well lived with hand pictures? These hand pictures and the fingerprints brings them a little pride and a wonderful memorial for their family.”

CNA Lauren Montgomery with the EveryStep Hospice Kavanagh House team in Des Moines says the “typical” day for her always looks different than the one before. On any given day, Lauren can be helping teams in the field, assisting patients at Kavanagh House or doing clerical work for the team. “I enjoy my job with EveryStep because of the lives we get to look into, even briefly, and help people on their final journey. Being an aide with EveryStep is rewarding because of the difference we make in people’s day-to-day lives and the relationships we get to cultivate while working.”

With an extensive medical background, Jamie Chester has been an EMT/first responder for 20 years, and worked for a family practice doctor for eight years. As a home health aide with the EveryStep team in Centerville, she appreciates that work-life balance EveryStep provides. “I love being able to help patients and their families in their final journeys,” says Jamie. “I provide both home care and hospice visits, so sometimes I will be in a patient’s home and other times I will be in a nursing facility.” Jamie says she loves the support she receives from her Centerville team.

“Being an aide in the community in which you live in an honor,” says CNA Tammy Simmerman, a hospice aide with the EveryStep Hospice team in Osceola. “Our area is large, but it’s always a pleasure to meet new and take care of such a wide range of humans!” Tammy also credits her team in Osceola for making her work enjoyable and says it’s the most rewarding work she has ever done. “All humans differ and change their needs daily. I keep their and their families’ wishes as top priority. So, tuck and roll on the daily!”

Kimberly Key, an EveryStep Home Care health aide with the Des Moines team, says a patient best described the work she does. “I once had a patient tell me that he felt like my job was an act of love. I couldn’t have said it better. I love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Looking for a meaningful career where you can truly make a difference? EveryStep employees enjoy a supportive culture, competitive compensation and benefits, work/life balance and flexibility, and the knowledge that their employer shares their values of integrity, respect, compassion, excellence and teamwork.

There are currently many nursing and aide opportunities with EveryStep with competitive pay scales. For more information and to apply, visit EveryStep’s Career page.

If you or someone you know needs care or support, complete the confidential "Find Care" form at Find Care | EveryStep Care & Support Services. The form sends a message to EveryStep staff who then follow up with a phone call. It's a great way to start a conversation and get answers with no cost or commitment.