Edgewood volunteer Symonne Fontenot transitions to the role of RN.
I started volunteering at the Edgewood Center when I was just 12 years old. My mom, an Edgewood employee for over 17 years, would bring me to work with her before and after school and I would volunteer. I worked as the coffee girl in the dining room, I painted the resident’s nails and I was a one-on-one companion as well. I enjoyed my volunteering experience so much that it felt natural to apply for my first job at Edgewood as a staff assistant. During high school, I stayed with Edgewood per diem and continued as an undergrad as well. I knew I’d always be welcomed back and really enjoyed helping out as a staff assistant.
When I decided to change my career path and pursue nursing school, I knew Edgewood would be an environment supportive of my education, changing roles and developing a style of caregiving. They even have a tuition reimbursement program which I took advantage of, and they were very involved in helping me find scholarships for my nursing program.
Now in my 12th year, I am not only an LNA, but have graduated with my Associate in Nursing from Great Bay Community College and have transitioned into an RN role with Edgewood!
The culture here is like no other
Edgewood is open and warm and I know that no matter which floor I work on, I will have fun with my co-workers and residents. I can chat and laugh with anyone at work and I know that my peers and management care about me and my residents. At Edgewood, we are truly a community.
You could say that I fell in love with Edgewood
- I love that I have the resources I need – material, social and emotional – to provide the kind of care that I am truly proud of giving.
- I love that the resident to caregiver ratio is lower than average because it allows for more time for personal attention to care.
- I love that Edgewood focuses highly on patient dignity.
- I love reinforcing education with my residents and watching them improve themselves.
- I love my co-workers.
Most of all, I love the connections I make with my residents. I have bonded with many, but there was one very special resident that really has a special place in my heart. He was such an intelligent, creative person. He had a binder of his writing that he’d let me read and he had a collection of jazz music he liked to listen to. Sometimes we’d listen together. When he passed, his family made a scrapbook of his beautiful poetry that I highly value and keep with me.
In summary, Edgewood is a special place and has had a huge impact on my life. I look forward to coming to work, helping people, engaging with residents and co-workers and hopefully making a difference in these people’s lives – because they have certainly made a difference in mine!