In high school, CCA nurse Benedicta Agyemang had the unique opportunity to participate in a summer “work and learn” program focused on science and technology. She shadowed nurses for three summers. Even though she was only a teenager, there was no question that nursing was the right path for her.
“I loved it. I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. It was a natural thing to me,” she said.
Throughout her education and career, Benedicta has been determined to push herself. In nursing school, Benedicta found herself drawn to pediatrics. But when she graduated, she spent two years as a medical-surgical nurse, wanting to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone. When she felt the time was right, she joined a school system, and worked as a school nurse for eight years. In addition to helping children and their families address health concerns, Benedicta found herself stepping into a mentorship role, too.
“Kids are exploring and trying to figure themselves out. As a school nurse, you are a guide to them, helping them realize what they can be and how their interests can grow,” she said.
In 2014, Benedicta’s desire to continue to branch out and learn about new dimensions of nursing brought her to CCA. She now uses many of the same skills she learned as a school nurse to teach her adult CCA members how to manage their individual health needs.
“Nursing takes a lot of patience and compassion. I use my listening skills to hear people’s challenges and learn how I can help them be successful in whatever I am teaching them,” she said.
Benedicta’s motto is “no room for failure,” and she considers it her primary responsibility to help members reach their goals, even if they are resistant to her assistance. By getting to know her patients and gaining and understanding of their struggles, she often helps them overcome their own reluctance to break bad habits or dig deeper into complex health issues.
She is also a big believer in celebrating small victories, knowing they lead to long-lasting improvements. Benedicta can see her patients’ frustration when they face a goal that seems too big, like lowering their cholesterol rapidly or quitting smoking immediately. She takes pride in helping members develop strategies to gradually build better habits over time.
When she considers her work with members, Benedicta is most proud of herself for never giving up. She is always willing to try creative solutions until she has succeeded in developing a trusting relationship with the person for whom she is caring. She also appreciates that she is still able to learn new things, as CCA brings something different every day. When a member’s need is outside the scope of her practice, she enjoys collaborating with other members of her team to determine the best course of treatment.
“Every morning, I am so happy to go to work, because I know that my touch is going to impact somebody, and my words are going to encourage somebody,” she said.