Kindred CNA With 25 Years of Service Shares Her Story

By Kindred Healthcare
Josephine Holmes

Josephine Holmes pushed Carol outside in her electric wheelchair so she could get some fresh air. Due to her medical condition, Carol was paralyzed. She could not speak, eat or breathe on her own. But Josephine Holmes loved her, and she took care of her nearly every day for 11 years.

Josephine is a Certified Nursing Assistant at Kindred Hospital Bay Area – Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Carol was one of her patients. As Josephine recalls the memory of Carol, her voice cracks.

“I became like her daughter,” Josephine said. “And before she passed away, her family called me at home because all she wanted to do was be with me. Carol’s family trusted me more than they trusted anyone.”

Carol was just one of the many Kindred patients that Josephine has impacted. Josephine has been a CNA with Kindred for 25 years. She is responsible for helping patients bathe, eat, walk, exercise and use the restroom. She also must take blood pressure, turn bedridden patients and give post-mortem care.

“I raised both of my kids being a CNA,” Josephine said. “Now, my son is an engineer and my daughter is a secretary at the hospital.”

Josephine’s colleague, Marisol Gonzalez, calls her a loyal asset to Kindred. And colleague Nancy Reyes agrees.

“Josephine was employee of the year two years ago, which was well deserved,” Nancy said. “She really cares about each one of her patients and takes an interest in their lives.”

While there can be no doubt Josephine has impacted the lives of many people, her patients have affected her own life as well.

“My patients taught me how to be a good mother,” she said. “They made me realize that I have to raise my children in a way that ensures they will always be there for me in case something happens.”

Every day, Josephine sits down and bonds with her patients. They tell stories. And Josephine says that oftentimes, patients just want someone to listen.

“Most of the time, nurses and doctors don’t have time to spend time with the patients,” she said. “I like to spend time with them and try to make them understand that they can get better if they just believe and have faith.”

For Josephine, the most challenging part of taking care of patients is losing them.

“When you take care of someone for so long and then he or she passes away, it’s hard to move on,” she said. “I talk to my patients for so long and I get to know them, but sometimes they can’t get better, and I lose them. When I lose a patient, I lose family.”

Though the job can be challenging, Josephine says that the idea of helping people and creating a difference makes everything worth it.

“I know that I make a difference because people come back and look for me when they get better,” she said. “That’s how you overcome the difficulties. My patients make me feel just as good as I make them feel.”

Josephine precepts and oversees all CNAs at Kindred Hospital Bay Area – Tampa. She says that she loves her job, but not everyone has what it takes to be a CNA.

“You have to have a caring heart,” she said. “You have to understand the patient and always put them first and then everything else will fall into place.”

Not everyone is capable of being a wonderful CNA, but Julie Feasel, Division Vice President, says that Josephine certainly makes being a CNA look effortless.

“Josephine could teach us all how to live the Kindred mission,” Julie said. “She represents and lives the vision of our organization. Though we have had her for 25 years, it isn’t enough. We need her for another 25 years!”

In celebrating National Nursing Assistants’ Week June 12-19, we would like to recognize and thank Josephine and all of our nursing assistants who are dedicated to hope, healing and recovery.