For Jessica Galvin, Hospice Aide at VNA of Northwest Indiana, caring for her hospice patients is personal. It is more than just a job. For Galvin, this is her calling, one in which she takes great care and pride in.
“I remember that I'm doing this for a reason, and that reason is not for me. It's my other people; the Grandmas and Grandpas out there. This isn't a job to me. I know that I'm there for someone else. And I know that when I need it, that I'm going to have them backing me up too,” said Galvin.
Galvin began her CNA career more than 10 years ago when she received her license. She worked in several nursing homes before encountering the VNA of Northwest Indiana. Seeing the care they provided for her brother, she knew that she was where she wanted to be.
“They took their time and talked, even though he wasn't responding. They showed him love, and always talked with me after they were done, checking with me to see how I was doing, how he was doing,” said Galvin.
Every patient she sees is an opportunity to spread a positive attitude. The support she received through the VNA of Northwest Indiana for her loved ones encourages her to pour back into the patients she cares for now. With a smile on her face, she greets each new patient and day with a bright attitude, knowing that she can help brighten someone else’s day.
“It's a great feeling knowing that, at the end of the day, you've made someone smile,” said Galvin. “You have to be positive too. Having someone positive come into your home to help take care of your loved ones is important.”
The difference the VNA of Northwest Indiana can be to those who need end of life care is something that encourages Galvin in her daily tasks. She knows the mission is to provide comfort and care and she sets about to do just that. Her patients are not some name on a list to check off, they are people. She shows up and she cares.
“When we go out to visits, we take our time, we spend it with our patients. We can be there for over an hour, even longer. We take the time to actually get to know the patient and make sure that before we leave, there's nothing else that needs to be done before their next visit,” said Galvin, “That's how I would want my Grandma or Dad to be treated. I would want you to take the time.”
Galvin knows that caring for her patients, in all the little ways, is important. Whether it is washing and curling hair, filling nails, or helping someone shave, she goes about each task with care and passion. To her, those little things mean a lot.
“If it was me, I wouldn't want to stop what I was doing before. If you do that, you're giving up. So I feel that showing them that extra care and love during it, the little things, it brightens their spirits and makes them feel better about themselves,” said Galvin.
Galvin is all about making the connection with those who will be in her care. Taking the time and gaining their trust is her goal each time she steps foot into someone’s home. She also finds joy in connecting with extended families and being a type of support for them when they need it.
“The connections are my favorite thing. You can meet someone and just instantly connect with them. That connection is very strong. I still talk to some of my patients family members. Once they get to know you and bring you into the family, that's awesome,” Galvin said.
When Galvin’s not taking care of her patients, you will usually find her spending time and playing with her three and a half year old son. Even in the simple things, like playing cars, or with bubbles, Galvin puts her whole heart and positive spirit into making her son a priority, as she does with her patients. She sums it up perfectly when she says, “I just give them me, and I give them the care I know that they want. Not even the care they expect, it's the care that I know they would want.”