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My Work is My Heartbeat: CNA from The Hearth at Drexel Finds Her Passion in Caring for Others

November 18, 2020

For Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at The Hearth at Drexel, Karlene Josephs, caring for others is not just her job, it’s what motivates and inspires her each and every day. “I have been a CNA at The Hearth for two years now. Caring for the residents who live here is my pleasure,” she says.

Karlene is originally from Jamaica. Before moving to America she worked as an office attendant, and later became a nanny to pursue her passion in caring for others. “I’ve always wanted to take care of people. It’s what I do best, and that’s what I wanted for my career,” she reflects. Upon moving to the states, Karlene began working at a home health agency as a nursing aide. She later began pursuing her certification as a nursing assistant.

One morning as Karlene was waiting for her bus to work, an employee from The Hearth asked if she was a CNA. “At that time I was in the middle of getting my certification,” Karlene explains. After the Hearth employee told Karlene that this community was a wonderful place to work, Karlene decided she’d like to work there too. “I got my certification as a CNA in 2018 and I have been working at The Hearth ever since,” she says.

Caring for residents like family

As Karlene provides compassionate care for residents at The Hearth, she enjoys her special connections and friendships that have grown immensely throughout the years. “I care for residents like they are my family. I give them the same care that I would give to my grandparents. And I give them the kind of care that I would want given to me if I was in their position,” she affirms.

Throughout COVID-19 Karlene and staff at The Hearth have gone above and beyond to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of their residents. Following proper guidelines set out by the CDC and DOH while engaging residents in safe and creative ways, Karlene says that the people who call this community home feel confidence in their care. “Our residents feel safe because they know we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy and comfortable and they trust that we follow all of the right precautions,” Karlene emphasizes.

As residents feel safe and secure in their community at The Hearth, Karlene says The Hearth’s leadership team has been a tremendous support system throughout these challenging times.

With The Hearth’s support, Karlene’s job as a Certified Nursing Assistant is truly a labor of love. “This work is really my heartbeat. I love what I do and the care I give to residents, and they love me dearly in return,” she says. They certainly do.

In fact, Karlene’s care and presence means so much to residents they often wonder what they’d do without her. “I am taking off in a few days because I have to move into my new home, and the residents say to me, ‘How will we manage without you?’ I tell them I’ll only be off for a little bit,” she laughs. With great passion for her work and immense care for residents, Karlene continues to make a difference in the lives of many.