Inside Athena: From Italy To Conn., Beacon Brook C.N.A. Found Passion In Healthcare
NAUGATUCK, C.T. — It’s been nearly five decades since Maria Testa moved to the United States.
Born and raised in Italy, she met her now husband while he was on vacation in her country. Married at 19, she moved to the States and got into healthcare. She has been a C.N.A. at Beacon Brook Health Center in Naugatuck, Connecticut for 22 years.
“I really care for the residents. I care for the elderly. I treat them how I would want to be treated when I get old,” she said. “I like to work. I like the patients.”
She has been in the industry for 40 years, working at another nursing home for 11 years before it closed down. It’s an “adventure” every day at Beacon Brook for Testa and enjoys working at the center. She said it’s busy, but she’s used to that having four children, 10 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
“I always come in with a good sense of humor to work. I never get aggravated. I go with the flow. I try to make the residents laugh,” Testa said.
Moving to the United States was a challenge. She didn’t know the language, but didn’t let that stop her from pursuing a career she’s always wanted to be in.
“It was a little hard from the beginning because I didn’t know the language. Day by day it was easier. I went to school to be a C.N.A. and I passed the first time I went. Even though it was hard for me to understand English, it was fine… I did it,” she said.
She shares the residents notice when she is not there. When she returns from scheduled days off, she said the residents will always say how much they missed seeing her and that feeling is mutual.