Former Certified Nursing Assistant Bonnie McGrew brings her experience and “grace” to a Virginia nursing home during the pandemic.
“Will you just stay with me for a little bit?,” asked one resident to Bonnie McGrew, a Clinical Sales Specialist at Takeda.
And so, she did.
Bonnie used her company-provided paid service days to volunteer at a Virginia nursing home during the peak of the pandemic. Prior to her current position at Takeda, Bonnie was a Registered Nurse (RN) and worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) while she earned her degree. As a volunteer with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (VA MRC), Bonnie got the call her skills were needed. “I truly was called to do this. I knew this was something I had to do,” explains Bonnie.
While her primary responsibilities during the week included completing vital checks, assisting residents with dressing, bathing, and transferring residents, it was the opportunity to sit down with the residents that brought her the most joy. “Healthcare workers are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated,” says Bonnie. “No one has time to sit with the residents and hold their hands.”
Cut off from loved ones due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents were desperate for someone to talk to and often asked Bonnie to stay by their side. “They needed me more than anyone else did during that moment.” Including one resident who went so far as to ask Bonnie to sing “Amazing Grace” with her, moving the resident to tears.
Bonnie hopes her next opportunity is to help with the vaccination process. “If all I need to do is take the time that Takeda provides me with to help others, I’ll take it.” Bonnie feels fortunate the stars aligned and she was in a place in life where she was able to give back and use her degree and past experience. “They gave me more than I gave them,” she says.
“It was just a little thing I did.”