Inside Athena: Southbridge C.N.A. Commits to Excellence, Quality Care
SOUTHBRIDGE, M.A. — Carmen Diaz began her career at Southbridge Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Massachusetts 25 years ago.
The C.N.A. is inspired to provide the best care she can while at the Massachusetts facility because those she’s taking care of and those by her side excite and motivate her to do good work.
“I take good care of my residents,” she said. “They’re there for a reason… to be taken care of. If they could do it themselves, most of them wouldn’t be there.”
She said Southbridge is her second home. Originally from Puerto Rico, she moved to New York City and then Massachusetts when she was 19. She comes from a big family and has always had the quality of a caretaker in her.
Administrator Dennis Billings said Diaz is an “absolute treasure.”
“Carmen’s commitment to excellence and quality care should be the standard across healthcare. Carmen’s dedication to Southbridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center of 25 years is something that is recognized, admired, and appreciated by all that she has cared for. We are so incredibly fortunate to have her on our team and look forward to 25 more years together!” he said.
Diaz’s two sons had worked at the center previously, both in the housekeeping department. It continued to make Southbridge feel like home to her. While she has challenges to overcome, she said one benefit of what she does is getting to learn about peoples’ lives.
“Sometimes they tell you a life story. They tell you what they’ve been through, how many children they have, some of the experiences that they have,” she said. “I love what I do. I love interacting with my residents. I’ve met so many throughout the years that I’ve been there. All types of nationalities, I’ve learned different languages.”
Diaz said her favorite part about her job is how much the residents appreciate the work she does. Through her time at the center, she said she’s learned how to be good to co-workers and be considerate of others.
Why would she recommend Southbridge to any potential resident? Not only because of the quality care they will get, but “because I’m there” she notes.