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Why I Came, Why I Stayed: Working With ACE Unit Patients ‘Gives Me Such a High,’ Teaira Homan SaysPublished: May 10, 2023
In “Why I Came, Why I Stayed,” you’ll get to know people who are making a difference every day at Methodist and how they contribute to providing The Meaning of Care.
Teaira Homan, CNA
Restorative aide/nursing assistant
Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit
Tell us more about yourself and your background with Methodist.
A restorative aide plays a pivotal role as part of the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit and interdisciplinary team. The ACE Unit utilizes the Age Friendly Health Systems’ 4Ms framework to improve patient care for older adults. The 4Ms are:
- What Matters
The restorative aide is essential to improving mobility for our older adults. With the addition of this position, our patients are mobilized much more frequently, whether that be walking or in-bed range-of-motion exercises. Improving mobility impacts the other M’s by improving mentation and reducing the length of stay, which is often what matters most to the patient.
I work with pulmonary patients on the floor to make sure they’re up in the chair and walking the halls as much as possible. I also hold an exercise class to help our patients gain strength – working on upper arm and lower leg exercises while sitting.
My career path is still taking shape. I worked with adults with developmental disabilities for 15 years before coming to Methodist. I eventually plan to return to school with the goal of becoming a registered nurse. I would love to work with hospice patients. I also love teaching and would love to teach CNA classes and help new CNAs be the best they can be.
My husband and two daughters are the most important things in my life. We enjoy spending time together, playing UNO and having family conversations at dinner each night. I personally love to drive, listen to music and work on puzzles and crafts.
Why Methodist? What attracted you to the organization?
My story is very unusual. My mother was a longtime patient at the former Methodist Hospital Renaissance Clinic, and I used to go with her to the infusion center at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center for her iron treatments. The Methodist employees we encountered were so nice. They were always smiling. I thought it was the coolest thing that everyone was so nice and so happy. I remember being lost one day, and multiple people stopped me and asked if they could help me find something. I was just so impressed.
My sister also worked at Methodist Hospital on 8 North and would always tell me to get a job here. Finally, after a year of my sister telling me that Methodist was such a good place to work, I decided to apply.
I loved the Methodist Hospital model of care. I actually had experienced The Meaning of Care not by being a patient, but by being a visitor. I wanted to work at a place where I could be proud of my work. Methodist has truly created a culture of compassion and treats employees like family.
I accepted a job as a CNA on the ACE Unit. I truly felt like when I pinned that badge on my jacket, I had to put on that same smile I saw and put forth all the love and energy in being the best I could be. This is The Meaning of Care, and I’ll always stand by that as a Methodist employee. It just feels right.
What is it about Methodist that keeps you coming back?
I’ve been here eight years, and I love what I do. I work with some pretty amazing people, many of whom I have the highest respect for as coworkers and great human beings. I stay because working with patients gives me such a high. It's like riding a roller coaster. You get to experience not only the lows but also the highs. It's always a great feeling when you have a patient who comes in for weakness or can barely move, and before discharge they’re walking 400 feet. Knowing that every patient I see could benefit from my services is a great feeling.
When it comes down to it, every patient is someone’s loved one. I truly look at each of my patients as if they were my grandparents. When you think about it, that means I probably stay because I have lots of family to take care of.
If you have a big heart and want to be part of a team that cares, you should apply. You won’t regret it.