The Face of Cassia

Janessa, a certified nursing assistant at Praha Village, poses for a picture.

Praha Village CNA Proud to Work for Cassia

Passion for healthcare came at an early age for Janessa, a certified nursing assistant at Praha Village in New Prague, MN.

“When I was young, my mom worked in healthcare and I would often go to work with her and visit with the residents,” Janessa says. “I spent time doing crafts, games, cards and outside walks with the residents.”

Not surprisingly, Janessa began her healthcare career at a young age.

“I started working in the kitchen when I was 15,” she says. “A year later, I took training as a CNA, passed and started working on the floor in a nursing home.”

Twelve years later, she keeps coming back with a smile on her face. For the past three years, she has been working in assisted living and memory care at Praha Village.

“I love all the different care settings here,” Janessa says. “You can go from independent living to assisted living and memory care. There are three different levels of care, which is very unique from other places I’ve worked.”

As the owner of a mini dachshund named Mocha, she appreciates that Praha Village is pet friendly.

“I’ve never seen it where residents can come and retire with their pets,” she says. “It’s a homelike setting.”

She enjoys being a part of residents’ home.

“I love that I’ve been given the opportunity to develop relationships, learn new skills and make a difference in the residents’ lives,” Janessa says. “I have developed meaningful connections with the residents and their families. I enjoy listening to the residents’ stories and learning about their past.”

She says she is always learning on the job.

“I have learned many new skills such as teamwork, healthcare and communication,” Janessa says.

She especially appreciates talking with residents.

“They’re all like family,” Janessa says. “I’m a full-time employee, so they see my face quite often. We sit and talk during down time. I ask about their past, what kinds of jobs they had and just reminisce. I recently got a new place with acreage. They ask about that. We develop a relationship that way. I communicate; listen to them, their concerns and worries.

“We’re there for them when they’re sad or they might not have anybody if they don’t have family who come,” she continues.

She knows they appreciate even the little things she does for them.

“I help them out with the smallest things: putting a dish on the top shelf, helping with laundry, taking them to activities – bingo is a big one – even sitting down there with them,” Janessa says.

Bev, a resident at Praha Village, speaks highly of Janessa.

“Janessa is my bed maker and I love her,” Bev says. “She taught me how to fold fitted sheets. After all these years. We have a system.”

Janessa didn’t realize that something her grandmother taught her years ago would bring others such joy.

She considers it a privilege to be able to help others.

“It means a lot to me that I’m able to assist with these activities for them and make a difference in their lives, make meaningful connections with them,” Janessa says. “It’s just good to know I feel like I’m providing them care and attention.”

Ashley, the director of nursing at Praha Village, believes Janessa does that well.

“Janessa is a stellar CNA,” Ashley says. “I know that she will always do the right thing for the resident. Janessa is a leader, high performing CNA and our residents not only receive superb care from her, but also a kind smile and good attitude.”

Working for Cassia at Praha Village means a lot to Janessa.

“I’m excited and proud to be working at this company because of its excellent reputation in the industry and the community,” Janessa says. “A lot of people talk highly about it outside of work here about how nice it is, which is awesome. They say how wonderful of a place it is. It’s beautiful. It’s nice to know that’s what other people think of it. The residents and their families are happy.”