Continuing with our celebration of National Nursing Assistants Week, we’d like to share the story of one of our newest MGA Homecare families. The Reyes family started working with our Colorado Springs team just last month while preparing for their son, Pedro, to be brought home from the hospital for the first time. Pedro just recently turned 10 months old, spending the first 9 months of his life in the hospital. We spoke with Pedro’s mom, Brenda, to ask about her experience bringing her son home, her first impression of in-home care and her interest in becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
Pedro was born in Colorado Springs Memorial Hospital in July of 2018 where he had his trach tube and G-tube put in not long after his birth. Once Pedro was strong enough, he was transferred to the NICU of Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, 70+ miles from home.
“While being transferred to Denver’s hospital was great due to their facilities and ability to provide specialized care for Pedro, it was difficult being so far from home for so long,” said Brenda. “We live in Colorado Springs, but I stayed in Denver at Ronald McDonald House so I could be with him.”
While in the hospital, Brenda learned about her in-home care options from the case manager. She was able to talk with multiple home care providers, learn about the services and start to understand the world of pediatric home care. After waiting nine months for Pedro to get stronger, Brenda decided MGA Homecare was the best fit for her family. Brenda recalls that the process of sorting through all of this new information was difficult, and she was glad to have a support system and people at MGA to help her out along the way.
“It’s hard,” said Reyes. “There are a lot of steps involved in bringing your child home and you need people you can trust to help guide you. I’m glad we had MGA there to explain the entire process to us. As a bilingual family, we can’t help but think about other people who might not speak English and don’t know what to do in these situations. My husband was happy to learn that MGA has Spanish speakers on staff so he can communicate with them directly.”
Home Sweet Home
While they were happy to be home, Brenda recalls the experience of leaving the hospital to be bittersweet.
“After so much time there, you form bonds with the people in the hospital,” said Brenda. “It’s nice to know how much they cared about Pedro and our family. While we’ll miss them, nothing beats waking up the morning and being able to walk right over to see him.”
Since being home, the Reyes family has been doing great. Pedro had his first out of hospital doctor appointment in May and according to Brenda, he was all smiles. Through his regular care and therapies, Pedro is developing new strengths and abilities quickly and Brenda has already seen improvements in his health.
“It’s going really great,” said Brenda. “Since we’ve been home, I’ve seen him start to develop his own personality. He likes looking at books during story time and absolutely loves bath time! Whenever you pour water over his head, he acts like he’s having his own little spa day. He’s becoming himself and that has been really amazing to see.”
Advice to Others
When thinking back on her recent experience, Brenda recalls how nerve-racking it can be to bring a stranger into the home.
“For people going through this same experience, I’d say it’s important to be honest with your entire home care team so everyone knows your expectations,” said Brenda. “These nurses and therapists are going to be like family members, so be sure to get to know them, have your child interact with them, ask questions, and make sure you’re comfortable with how much time they will be spending with your family.”
Brenda has had such a positive experience with home care and has learned so much that she’s decided she wants to become a CNA herself. Before having Pedro, Brenda worked as a teacher and is excited to take this opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge that could one day lead down a new career path.
“Having interviewed our therapists, I felt I was able to keep up in the conversation due to my education background,” said Brenda. “I want to have that same experience when chatting with our nurses and I think a CNA certification will really help in the future care of Pedro.”
Brenda is already enrolled in a CNA program through our sister company, MGA Academy, and starts her classes this month. Happy Nursing Assistants Week to our experienced CNAs and those just starting on their journey!