Your 15 Minutes: Egla Gomez

Working at North Church Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is rewarding for Egla Gomez.  She has primarily worked in nursing homes during her medical career, helping patients as a CNA and then an RN.  While Egla has always appreciated working with individuals in an in-patient setting, she especially enjoys helping patients through the rehabilitation process.

“We rehab a lot of patients home,” Egla explains.  “We help restore their health through therapy that allows them to be mobile again.  I like to help people get back into the community.”

Egla worked as a Certified Nurses Assistant (CAN) for six years before deciding to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Her work as a CNA solidified Egla’s commitment to the nursing profession and she decided to return to school to further her education.  This proved challenging with seven children at home and a part-time job.  Egla says that the support of her husband, Willie, and extended family made a big difference.

North Church Nursing and Rehabilitation Center hired Egla a year and a half ago as a nurse on the night shift.  She transitioned to the day shift, then became the Director of Nursing a few months ago.  Egla appreciates the opportunity to manage the nursing department and continue to work with patients.

Egla calls the nurses at North Church a great team of individuals who are “very eager to learn” and provide the best care to patients. The staff is focused on individualized care and enjoys building a rapport with the residents.  Elga is committed to bringing training opportunities in for her staff, so they can continually meet their customer service goals.

When Egla returns to Beardstown in the evenings, she often stops at the local after school program to volunteer.  Egla worked as a teacher’s aid in the Beardstown schools before becoming a CNA.  The district was seeking staff to help build an after school program for at-risk kids and Egla became involved.

The program is important to Egla because “it keeps kids safe off of the streets.”  Staff and volunteer provide activities for the kids until about 7 or 8 at night, when they return home.  Activities include homework assistance, coloring, drawing, puzzles, and sports.  Many of the kids involved do not have internet access at home, so the program also offers computer access for homework.

Volunteering at the after-school program has become a family affair for the Gomez family.  In addition to Egla’s work with the program, her two oldest children also volunteer.  Egla’s son, Alberto, enjoys math and is an invaluable tutor with the program.  Egla appreciates the opportunity to volunteer alongside her children.

Egla says that many of the students who attend the after-school program are on probation or have future court dates.  The program provides a safe place for them to be engaged in healthy activities after school.  Egla has witnessed “quite a few students finish the program” and overcome some of the challenges and consequences of their previous choices.

The Gomez family also uses their Spanish-language skills to help others in their community.  Egla and Willie, along with their extended family members, speak fluent Spanish and English.  With the tremendous growth of the Spanish-speaking community in Beardstown, it is important to have volunteer translators who can interpret.  The family sees this as an important way to serve their community.

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