Caring for people nearing the end of life takes a special kind of compassion. Our Suncoast Hospice aides provide tender, personal care that brings comfort and dignity to patients. This care also comforts families in these difficult journeys.
In recognition of National Nursing Assistants Week: Creating a Community of Caring June 14 to 21, we share the story of Sharon Williams, a certified nursing assistant/home health aide who works at our Suncoast Hospice Care Center in St. Petersburg. Williams discusses her love and dedication to her team, patients and families along with her desire to always be a part of our mission.
Q& A: Suncoast Hospice Aide Sharon Williams
1. What is your background?
I’m from Pinellas County. I worked for Kindred Hospital in St. Petersburg for 13 years.
2. Why did you choose to go into hospice care?
My little cousin was four and diagnosed with cancer. Sarah Perszyk, a Suncoast Hospice pediatric nurse, was the hospice nurse who came to the home for us. She was a loving person with a loving heart. I got my home health aide certification and I applied to Suncoast Hospice. I started in 2010. I always knew that was the place I needed to be.
3. Which teams have you worked for at Suncoast Hospice?
I did our pediatric program and had the chance to work with Sarah (pediatric nurse). I used to love going into the homes with the children. Most of them were able to go out. I would take them to the flea market or other places. I had another child who loved Sponge Bob and we watched it over and over again. Then I worked at our mid-Pinellas care center and now our south-Pinellas care center.
4. Why do hospice patients come to the care center?
Our hospice patients come in for pain management and once we get their pain under control, they may go home or to another facility.
5. How do you like working with your team at the care center?
We have a great team. All of us get along good. It’s like a family and a home away from home. I love coming to work. The nurses help out. Kerry and Pat (management team), I love them. They will go and do things if needed. Some days are difficult but when everybody pitches in it makes your days better. I try to be a role model for other aides.
6. How do you provide care and support to your patients and families?
We try to make them feel comfortable, loved and at home. We’ve got to take care of the families, too. I’ll give patients a bath and get them dressed. When families come in and see their loved ones sitting in the chair, it makes them happy.
7. How should hospice aides treat patients and families?
They should be loving people with loving hearts. You have to come in with a positive attitude every day and have a smile and friendliness. You’ve got to be a good listener.
8. What do you like most about working at Suncoast Hospice?
I love everything. I get to spend quality time with patients. I don’t have to rush. It’s a team. When I go home, I can sleep because I know I did a good job.
9. How long do you wish to stay in hospice care?
After two or three weeks of working at Suncoast Hospice, I thought I should have been here years ago. Hospice is my home. This is where I hope to be until the end.
10. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I spend time with my kids. My oldest son is in the Navy, my daughter is in school to become a nurse, my youngest son is in the Army and my son-in-law is in the Air Force. I travel a lot. I went on a cruise last week.
11. What lessons have you learned?
I’ve learned a lot from the family members. I listen to them.
Share Your Story
Have you had a great experience with our Suncoast Hospice aides? Please comment and share your story.
Here for You
Is your loved one ready for hospice care? Give us a call at (727) 467-7423 or contact us online to talk about how Suncoast Hospice might help.
Sharon is a gem in our hospice. Our South Pinellas Care Center are blessed with her presence. She loves taking them out for a stroll in the park and to catch fresh air. She embodies the true compassion and joy that our hospice nursing aides bring to our patients and families.
Yes we are a great team. My name is Janice Simmone, I been a member of Suncoast Hospice 12 years. It’s an experience within itself you get to meet new people family members you see all different types of family Dynamics happiness sadness you get to be a part of the family you help them get through any situation that they’re going through hospice is a great organization I had the privilege of my grandmother the late Pinksula walker being a patient there and my mom the late Susie Williams been patient for the Suncoast Hospice and my experience on both side has been great I enjoy what I do I love what I do being a CNA home health aide has meant so much to me I have been doing it for over the past 34 years and I continue to love what I do yes sometimes it’s it’s hard because you know people from high school are growing up with and you have to take care of them of their family members and it gets hard and sad at times but we have a great team at South South Pinellas Care Center that we’re able to help each other through it and talk through it we have a wonderful leader she’s always there her door is always open she continue to motivate us and help us to be a better person the nurses are wonderful some of my have been with the since the unit open it’s just a pleasure to be a CNA and working for Suncoast Hospice.