"The New Waveny" Edition 1: Fritz Mondesir, CNA
Posted on May 31, 2017
When Fritz Mondesir was called into the Care Center as agency staff several times during the summer of 2001, he began to realize that Waveny was where he was destined to be. “After my first shift here, the night supervisor would ask for me by name whenever she called the agency for support,” said Fritz. “Finally one evening, she approached me during my break and offered me a part-time position, which is what really opened the door.”
Now nearly 16 years since then, Fritz has gained a reputation for living and breathing “person-centered care.” When asked about his favorite part of his work, Fritz answered without hesitation: “The patients are the best part of my job,” he said. “And knowing that I’m making a difference in someone’s life is very important to me.”
As for the secret behind Fritz’s ability to relate to every single patient who comes his way: “Everyone’s different. You just need to pay attention.” Fritz says that quality care begins with a sense of understanding that can only come from paying attention. “The patients that joke with you usually want you to joke back. There are others who keep to themselves, and you need to respect that too. If you watch and listen, they’ll let you know what they want if you’re willing to wait for it.”
Just like all patients are different, so is each and every day. Fritz says that acknowledging this is the key to providing the best experience for everyone involved. When asked which single tip of advice he would share with anyone in his field, Fritz offers just two words: “Be patient.” Whether you’re a new grad or a seasoned career veteran, he says that patience and flexibility are essential, because anticipating the unknown is always going to be part of the job.
He says that it’s the little things that lie at the heart of patient care. “Don’t fall into a routine,” he said. “Instead, always look for a way to make things better.”
“If you hear the call bell, answer it. If you are busy taking a little extra time with your patient, just explain that you’ll be with them in five minutes.” Not only will your simple response calm them down and provide reassurance, but he says it tells the patient a lot about yourself. “It says that they’ll receive just as much time and attention as you spent with the person before.”
“And when you leave, don’t just say goodbye,” he added. “Ask if they are comfortable and if they need anything. You’ll always make your own job smoother by handling situations the right way the first time around.”
Fritz’s attitude toward teamwork is simple: “It takes more than one person to make it work.” He says that all parts of a team need to support one another to carry the load, especially with new staff.
And his belief that patients come first couldn’t be any clearer: “The patient doesn’t fit into my schedule, it’s the other way around,” he said. “If it’s 5:30 and it’s time for my break, but a patient needs something, I take care of it. I’ll just go on break at 5:45, and it’s no big deal. They’re my priority, and when you give a little extra, it makes all the difference in the world.”