Congratulations to our June Aide of the Month, Gloria Valbrune! Gloria has been a Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) with FCS Home Care Services for an impressive 24 years. Prior to working at FCS, Gloria worked at a nursing home where two coworkers suggested she apply for a job at FCS. Gloria remembers thinking “I don’t drive and I know they will ask me for a driver’s license. So, when I got my driver’s license I applied.”
Gloria recalls taking her certification class at FCS in 1995, proudly remembering “I took the class and started working right away. I finished on Friday and started working on Monday.”
When asked why she chose to become a CHHA, Gloria explained “it was easy for me because I knew what I was doing I just needed to be certified.” Gloria is from Haiti and credits her natural ability to help people to her upbringing. “When I was about 13 or 14 in Haiti, I started helping people. Helping kids, my grandmother, my uncle, and when I came here the first home care job I was given I didn’t speak English but I could read English.” At her high school in Haiti, Gloria studied Greek, Spanish, Latin and English, allowing her to be able to read the instructions given to her in order to care for her client at the time.
All of FCS’s CHHAs must successfully complete 76 hours of specialized training, pass a competency evaluation and undergo a criminal background check before becoming certified and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. CHHAs work under the guidance and direction of a Registered Nurse and must undergo training in personal care skills, including bathing, dressing, shopping, meal preparation, Range of Motion assistance and a variety of other tasks.
Gloria was selected to be Aide of the Month because of her consistency in going above and beyond for her clients. Gloria explains how she sees where help could be offered to a client when they might not have thought to ask for help, and that those personal touches do not go unnoticed.
Through the years, Gloria has been able to create special bonds with her clients, even working with some individuals for up to 13 years. She describes her relationship with her clients as one that offers advantages to both the client and the aide. “I learn so many things from them,” she goes on to say, “so many cooking and cleaning tips.”
Some of the things that Gloria’s clients have taught her have had a lasting impression. “I had one client who showed me how to make lasagna. And now everybody likes my lasagna. My kids love my lasagna, and if there is an event that I have to bring food to, I bring the lasagna.”
Another client shared a remedy consisting of red onions, lemon, and ginger that she would take when feeling under the weather. When asked if Gloria still uses the remedy she exclaimed “Ever since! I’m going to make some tomorrow for a friend.” Gloria’s friends and family often ask for the recipes and tips that are shared with her by her clients.
Gloria keeps her schedule busy, she still works at a nursing home while also being a CHHA at FCS and her advice for anyone considering becoming a home health aide is to “put yourself in the client’s position, because you never know, you could be in the same position tomorrow. What you have to do for a client, do it with your heart.” Gloria has a genuine love for her job and continues to do it with pride, “I enjoy doing this, it’s a routine for me and I say even after I retire from working at the nursing home I will continue to do this.”
Thank you, Gloria, and congratulations!