When work becomes a place you call home

A "love letter" from Rob, certified nursing assistant

Rob Knauff
Dear Fairview:
 
Have you ever had that feeling — a feeling that you’ve made the right decision? That’s exactly how I feel every day when I walk through the doors at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood.
 
In early 2018, I arrived bright and early for an interview for a certified nursing assistant (CNA) position with my now-supervisor, Beth Pearson. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it was clear she loved her job.
 
 Right away, I said to myself, "This is the place for me."
 
That feeling continued during orientation. Meeting 90 of my newest colleagues and hearing story after story from team members on why they love working at HealthEast — it just solidified that I had made one of the best decisions of my life.
 
In my short tenure at St. John’s, I’ve been really impressed with my colleagues' consistent focus on the patient and their commitment to delivering the best possible care. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CNA or the charge nurse; no work is beneath my team. People just pitch in whenever it’s needed.
 
One of my very first days on the floor, I was helping a patient and really struggling. My director, Mary Sonnek, just happened to walk by. She glanced in the room, did a double take, and immediately started to help. Without a word, she put on gloves and got right to work. I’ve been a CNA for many years at other care systems, and I have never experienced anything quite like this.
 
I’ve also been lucky enough to experience St. John’s as a patient. Back in July, I took a nasty spill on my motorcycle. I didn't think my injuries were that severe, but a co-worker, Rhea Longcor, convinced me I should have my leg examined.
 
After a few twists and turns, I ended up hospitalized at St. John's with cellulitis. 
 
Over the next four days, I received such amazing care! And 27 of my co-workers stopped by to see how I was feeling. It was such a wonderful feeling knowing that so many people cared about my well-being.
 
I told my colleague Samantha Couper about the overwhelming support I received, and she responded with the most amazing thing. She said, "Rob, you’re family."
 
I truly love what I do and look forward to coming to work each and every day. To me, it’s more than just a place to work; it’s a place I call home.
 
Sincerely,
Rob Knauff

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