Ask any current for former Craig patient, and they will tell you about the unique bond they developed with their certified nursing assistant, or Rehab Technician. The 160 Rehab Techs at Craig assist patients with dining, activities of daily living, and other personal care needs. Techs help implement the patient's plan of care as directed by the RN, maintain an organized and safe patient environment, and provide safety and structure to patients with impaired reasoning, thinking skills and behavior issues.
But perhaps one of their most important responsibilities is providing emotional support and encouragement to all patients.
Robert Chacon has worked in healthcare for more than 30 years, the last 11 at Craig. Robert is a Rehab Tech and a behavioral attendant in the Brain Injury department. He takes care of individuals who are in the early stages of their recovery. These patients are often "in a fog" and can be a danger to themselves because of their confusion.
While Robert's job is to keep patients safe, he often plays a large role in supporting family members. When a family first gets to Craig, the members are often scared and overwhelmed, he says. Robert earns the family’s trust and helps them understand that we are going to protect and help their loved one.
"I am a friend and an advocate — it's a hard job, but so rewarding," he says. "I give the best care so that the patients can have the best outcomes."
Robert's commitment to patient success extends beyond his day-to-day work. He gives a portion of his paycheck to Craig's Therapeutic Recreation department, through the Craig Foundation's Employee Giving Campaign, so that the program can continue to offer outings and recreational opportunities.
"I know that the money I give to the Craig Foundation goes right back to the patients in this program, and it's an honor to support them in this way," he says. "It's the best thing in the world to see the patients that I've cared for getting back into the community and finding their identity again."
The 42nd annual National Nursing Assistants' Week from June 13-20 recognizes nursing assistants like Robert — and the many others at Craig — who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others. Want to recognize your favorite Tech? Make a gift to the Craig Foundation in their honor. Each honored Craig staff member will receive a card informing them of your thoughtful donation as well as a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly. When making your donation, please note the name of the staff member you wish to honor.