Caring for Disabled Children, Each One Special
|Anjanne Nirahu, Coler Goldwater
Many people might find it more than just challenging to dress, feed and care for up to eight developmentally disabled children and teens at the same time. But to Anjanne Nirahu, a medical surgery technician at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility, it's a dream come true.
“The kids depend on us for everything,” said Nirahu. “They cannot speak, so we must be their ears. Some cannot see and we must be their eyes. They are all special. You come to love each one.”
The Guyanese native was drawn to nursing as a child and visited local hospitals as often as possible to learn first aid. But breaking into nursing was difficult, since she cared for her five brothers and sisters while her parents worked. She migrated to the United States in 1993 and took up accounting but soon learned that crunching numbers wasn't for her.
"Sitting at a desk all day made me restless. I wanted to get out and talk to people. So when a job in a nursing facility became available, I jumped at the chance," said Nirahu.
Nirahu's enthusiastic and passionate commitment to patient-centered care led to her designation in 2005 as Employee of the Year for the Coler campus of Coler-Goldwater.
“When nurses have to go to meetings, they know their patients are in good hands with Anjanne,” said D. Sakkari, Assistant Director of Nursing at Coler. “She’s always looking for ways to be more helpful to everyone, to make sure her kids get the best care.”
The "Employee of the Year" award is appreciated, but to this HHC health worker, the real reward is knowing that her careful attention to the needs of her young patients makes each and every one of them feel special.