Smiles and Personal Service: A Day at Work with Avera’s Jessica Macedo – Avera Health

Smiles and Personal Service: A Day at Work with Avera’s Jessica Macedo – Avera Health

Great care often starts with the small things, and no one knows that better than Jessica Macedo.

A laundry aide at Hegg Health Center in Rock Valley, Iowa, Jessica is always willing to share a smile, her time and a warm spirit.

Jessica loves delivering clean clothes to residents so much that she even volunteered to undergo twice-weekly COVID testing to be able to go in person to the units when visitors were restricted for residents’ safety. Residents benefited from her friendly presence at a time when they couldn’t see their family and friends in person.

“I like what I do, and we are busy, but I know our residents appreciate our work,” she said. “They often get excited and they smile when we bring them their clothes. We have formed bonds.”

Here’s a look at Jessica’s role at Hegg Health Center, and some insight on what makes her love her job as a part of the Avera team.

Question: What’s your job? Are you on a big team?

Answer: Our team is three people. We like to say we’re small – but we’re powerful. We do all the laundry for our facility, including the hospital. We also care for the clothing of our 60 long-term care residents – we see that as an important part of what we do.

Q: That service went through some changes, didn’t it?

A: Yes, we were using a service outside our facility. My director asked me if I thought we could do a better job with their clothes here on campus, and I spoke to my team. We were happy to offer that service in-house.

Jessica Macedo

Q: What was happening?

A: Residents were having clothes get lost or damaged. We would rather have a little bit more work than have someone’s favorite shirt or sweater lost. We took on the challenge, and our residents seem to know we’ll take care of them.

Q: Can you tell me about what a day in your job is like?

A: I come in at 6 a.m. and we start sorting the wash and get it going. We usually do this for a few hours, and when we have resident laundry, we sometimes take turns ironing the items that might need a little extra attention. Usually around 10:30 a.m. we deliver to hospital departments and residents. That’s the best part. After we’ve returned all the laundry and clothing, we get things ready for the next day, and we’re usually finished around 2 p.m.

Q: Why is delivering laundry to residents the best part?

A: Residents recognize us as family, and we feel the same way. As we bring things back to their rooms, they will say hello and we’ll chat or catch up. They like to say “Oh, here comes the laundry ladies!” It’s nice to brighten someone’s day. A shirt might not seem like a big deal – but it is. So something as small as knowing their favorite flannel shirt is being cared for by someone they know and trust matters. It’s a way to …….


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