“Actively listening to patients conveys respect for their self-knowledge and builds trust.” This quote comes directly from the October 9, 2017 Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Making Time to Really Listen to Your Patients.Tosha Williams, a CNA at Heritage Healthcare Center in Tallahassee, Florida, did not need to go to business school to learn the importance of listening, and she uses these skills every day at work.

Tosha is no stranger to providing compassionate care to residents and patients who can no longer care for themselves. She first learned to be a caregiver when her dad got sick many years ago. That experience prepared her well for a role as a CNA at Heritage Healthcare Center, where she has shared her talent for 18 years. Tosha’s gift for nurturing is recognized by everyone around her. According to Danika Young, an LPN at Heritage Healthcare, “Tosha encourages her residents to perform as many of their ADLs (activities of daily living) as possible. She takes the time out of her day to talk and listen to her residents. Every nurse loves to work with her.”

Tosha’s gift for nurturing is recognized by everyone around her.

Listening carefully not only benefits her patients, but has also enriched Tosha’s own life. She told us about a particular resident who reminds her so much of her dad. He “is always listening, is very compassionate, and he’s very funny. He makes you smile when you are down.” Tosha treasures relationships like this one. By spending just five minutes sitting down and chatting with a patient, she is amazed by how much she can learn.

Tosha told us that she always tries to assist where needed. If she walks by a resident from another wing, she will take time to go outside with them if possible. She knows that the residents need undivided attention more than you might think. Because she wants to help so many of the residents, she said that “Sometimes you want the day to go longer because you’re just not ready to go home.” Tosha has the same helpful attitude with her co-workers. If one of her colleagues asks for assistance, Tosha is always willing to lend a hand.

When we asked Tosha if she had advice for other CNAs, she mentioned the following three points:

  1. Always be patient.
  2. Take time to listen.
  3. Always put your patients’ needs first.

Tosha, thanks for the great advice, and for everything you do for our patients. We can all learn from the compassionate behaviors that you model each day.