Madeline Quinones, CNA, HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital
Madeline Quinones has been a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital since 1995 – on the same unit, caring for geriatric psychiatric patients. Family is very important to Madeline, and that’s how she treats patients – like family.
“I think about my mother and grandmother, who is 104, back in Puerto Rico,” said Madeline, who is originally from the island. “If they ever needed care, I would want them to be treated with kindness and respect. That’s how I take care of all my patients.”
As a CNA on a busy hospital unit, Madeline assists patients with daily activities including bathing, dressing, meals and accompanying them to exercise. For her, being a caregiver goes beyond the job description. It’s about being there when patients need a kind word and comfort. “I love to do French braids and make them feel pretty,” she said. “And I love to listen to them. They always have a different story. They are sensitive, and they need people to listen to them.”
Madeline excels at making her patients feel comfortable and safe. It comes naturally to her, as caregiving is what Madeline does. She has been raising three teenage grandchildren on her own since her husband passed away a few years ago. And she recently became a great grandmother. She is also pastor of a Pentecostal church in Clinton, a ministry she shared with her husband and continues to serve at night and on weekends. Kindness, respect and compassion – keys to our Standards of Respect – are qualities Madeline brings to her work and her personal life.
“I see my work at the hospital like a ministry (not in a religious way),” said Madeline, “to help patients through problems. I want to make them comfortable and feel valued.” Her caring extends to her co-workers, as the CNA role is crucial to supporting nurses and other staff. “We’re like one big family here, as many of us have been here 10, 15 or 20 or more years,” Madeline noted. “The most rewarding part of my job is when a patient smiles and says ‘Thank you.’ I also find it rewarding when the nurses compliment me on doing a fantastic job.”
Madeline is quick to share praise for a job well done with the entire team of caregivers. “I represent all the good workers here,” she said. “It’s not just me. We’re a great team of CNAs and nurses, and we love caring for our patients. I can’t imagine doing any other job.”
To read more stories like Madeline’s, visit everyoneeveryday.org.