Prescott nursing assistant wins state award

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier, Cat Shero, Lead Certified Nursing Assistant at Meadow Park Care Center in Prescott, helps shave and get Gabe Ramirez ready for the day on Sept. 7. Shero, 55, said she has never considered another occupation, or going back to school to become a nurse. After all, she loves her job, and described her patients as “our most vulnerable population.”

PRESCOTT (AP) — Catherine “Cat” Shero started her career as a certified nursing assistant after graduating from high school in Flint, Mich., in 1973.

“I just kind of fell into it back then,” said Shero, who went to high school with filmmaker Michael Moore. “I stayed in it because it was my passion - because I like taking care of the people.”

Shero, 55, said she has never considered another occupation, or going back to school to become a nurse. After all, she loves her job, and described her patients as “our most vulnerable population.”

She moved to Prescott from Happy Jack three years ago, and has worked since then at Meadow Park Care Center, a 64-bed skilled nursing facility.

Shero is now lead CNA at Meadow Park, and is assigned to 19 patients with behavioral health issues. Her duties include bathing and dressing people.

The behavioral unit is more challenging physically and mentally than regular units because patients have conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Shero said.

“Some of them can be physically abusive, and you try to help them get through that.”

Her attitude and work ethic apparently impressed her superiors. Shero said her immediate supervisor, Mary Ellen McAtee, successfully nominated her for the 2011 CNA Professional of the Year from the Arizona Health Care Association.

The nomination paperwork included letters of recommendation from the administrative staff and families of the patients, Shero said.

The award typically draws 20 to 35 nominations, said Kathleen Pagels, executive director of the association, which represents 135 facilities statewide. CNAs number about 26,000 in Arizona.

“I think that Cat is extraordinary given her long period of service and dedication to long-term care: 37 years,” Pagels said. “She is also really known as someone who is nurturing and caring, and believes that kindness is a key component of care.”

Shero has brought “a lot of organization” to the behavioral unit, said Susan Bais, Meadow Park’s director of nursing services. “She is wonderful with the residents. Very patient. She is very reliable — extremely reliable. They are not easy circumstances, and she makes a difference in their lives.”

Shero described the honor, which came with a plaque, as being “like the Academy Awards for CNAs.”

She said she plans to stay at Meadow Park for a while.

“If I work here long enough, they’ll give me a free bed when I’m ready,” she said, jokingly.

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.