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Leading by Example: Patients Come First for 3 VNA of Ohio Employees

We talked to three stand-out caregivers at VNA of Ohio to celebrate "Caregiver Appreciation Week." These compassionate staff members share how they got into their fields and what makes them so passionate about care-giving. 

Margaret-BG-2-746714-edited-1Margaret Bohn-Galas
Social Worker, Hospice - Cleveland Office

How long have you been with VNA of Ohio?

I’ve been with the VNA of Ohio for 24 years and a social worker since the late 1980s.

How did you get into this profession?

I was working at Rainbow Children & Babies hospital as part of the Child Protection Program. This position opened up at VNA of Ohio and a friend of mine, who had worked in peds oncology, suggested that I apply for the position. My brother died of lung cancer at age 32, I was 25 at the time. I thought my personal emotions would get in the way of working in hospice. As it turns out, my emotions have been an asset rather than a hindrance. It was the best decision I ever made, I never looked back.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It sounds strange to say but I love being with families during this very intimate and beautiful time in their lives. This is when people accomplish their life work and if I can help people do that, it’s a privilege and an honor. This is very life-changing work, and I don’t say that lightly. It has changed my view on life in a very profound way.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I love to cook and I love to garden. I’ve also done marathons and triathlons. One of my personal achievements was doing a half Iron Man. Every other year, I do a 175 mile bike ride to Cedar Point to benefit research for multiple sclerosis.

Share a memorable story that happened to you at work.

Just this morning, I was with Michelle, a nurse in Hospice, visiting a patient. Her daughter had just arrived from North Carolina. The patient looked at me and asked, “What’s happening to me? Am I dying?” I told her, “Yes, but you already knew that, right?” She was just looking for confirmation from us. Her daughter was crying.

After the conversation, though, she could relax and let go. She had been so anxious waiting for her daughter to arrive. She had also been waiting for us to find a good home for her dogs. I had worked with her daughter to find someone to care for her dogs after she passed. This provided her with a great sense of relief.

Often we find ourselves in positions to have hard, difficult and often raw conversations. Patients are looking for honesty they often miss from other professionals and families aren't prepared to do it.

Lavita_Cuadrado_webLa’Vita Cuadrado
Mental Health Scheduler, Mental Health - Cleveland Office

How long have you been with VNA of Ohio?

I have worked for the VNA for one year and four months.

How did you get into this profession?

I have been in corrections for the last 20 years, and worked at several places as a QMH Case Manager for Adult and Juveniles Corrections and specializing in mental health, Dual Diagnosed Offenders for the Re-Entry Program.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Making people laugh and smile.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I write short stories, and I love being around my two cats, Nahla-Diamond and Shadow.

Janell Vincent, RN
Med-Surg - Cleveland Office

How long have you been with VNA of Ohio?

I’ve been with VNA since October 6, 2014.

How did you get into this profession?

I was a pipe fitter for 25 years when we lived in Charleston. When we were getting ready to move to Cleveland, my best friends had a brain aneurysm. Me and two other friends took care of her and got her back on her feet so she was able to function again. That’s what geared me towards becoming a nurse. I was looking for a career change anyway and that’s how I got into health care.

I got my degrees here in Cleveland from Bryant and Stratton College in Middleburg Heights. I passed my NCLEX exam on St. Patrick’s Day, 2012.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like being able to talk to the people in their own environment where they’re most comfortable and relaxed. You get a better picture of their situation when you visit someone in their own home. I like the one-on-one and being able to talk to them. When I worked at a nursing home, I felt like I didn’t have any time to talk to my patients.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I’m a big movie buff. We have our own personal collection of about 500-600 DVDs. Yes, I still prefer to watch DVDs and I still buy them, too. I also used to coach when my kid was in elementary school. She’s now a senior and going to Akron University next year for law.

Share a memorable story that happened to you at work.

I have lots of crazy stories and lessons learned the hard way. For example, when you take a Foley out, hold it tight or else you’ll fling urine onto you and your patients. And with trach patients, when you’re performing CPR, make sure you cover their nose and mouth. Lots of valuable lessons learned!

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Call VNA of Ohio Today

VNA of Ohio provides skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice, mental health and private-duty home healthcare to patients, wherever they call home. Learn more about VNA of Ohio home healthcare services, or call us today at 1-877-698-6264.

 

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