When a friend asked Jo-Ann Richard to spend time with her mother, she generously agreed. Jo-Ann had just retired from an 18-year career in hospice, working as the director of a volunteer program. She had the time and was happy to help a friend. What she gained from the experience opened her eyes to a new career. In caring for her friend’s mother, Jo-Ann realized her skills were not aligned with the career she had. She was meant to care for others. She was meant to be a home health aide.
Jo-Ann conducted an online search and learned about the Home Health Aide Certificate program offered at Massasoit Community College. The program was located close to home, it was affordable, and the evening hours fit Jo-Ann’s work schedule. Understanding that the client is the nucleus of the plan of care is the most important thing Jo-Ann learned while in the program. She learned the importance of listening with her heart, not just her ears. Of her instructor, Pat Boyd, Jo-Ann commented: “Pat taught from experience, not just from a book. What she taught, she had done herself. That made the material a lot more relatable.”
Since graduating from the Home Health Aide Program in December 2018, Jo-Ann was hired to care for a second client. She feels that her skills are now perfectly aligned with her career and intends to work as a home health aide until she retires. Of her day-to-day work, Jo-Ann says: “I love it. I’m blessed. They’re not clients or patients. They’re like part of my family. I’m helping them accomplish what they need, what their families need.”