Inside Athena: From Italy To Conn., Beacon Brook C.N.A. Found Passion In Healthcare

Inside Athena: From Italy To Conn., Beacon Brook C.N.A. Found Passion In Healthcare

NAUGATUCK, C.T. — It’s been nearly five decades since Maria Testa moved to the United States.

Beacon Brook Health Center C.N.A. Maria Testa

Born and raised in Italy, she met her now husband while he was on vacation in her country. Married at 19, she moved to the States and got into healthcare. She has been a C.N.A. at Beacon Brook Health Center in Naugatuck, Connecticut for 22 years.

“I really care for the residents. I care for the elderly. I treat them how I would want to be treated when I get old,” she said. “I like to work. I like the patients.”

She has been in the industry for 40 years, working at another nursing home for 11 years before it closed down. It’s an “adventure” every day at Beacon Brook for Testa and enjoys working at the center. She said it’s busy, but she’s used to that having four children, 10 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

“I always come in with a good sense of humor to work. I never get aggravated. I go with the flow. I try to make the residents laugh,” Testa said.

Moving to the United States was a challenge. She didn’t know the language, but didn’t let that stop her from pursuing a career she’s always wanted to be in.

“It was a little hard from the beginning because I didn’t know the language. Day by day it was easier. I went to school to be a C.N.A. and I passed the first time I went. Even though it was hard for me to understand English, it was fine… I did it,” she said.

She shares the residents notice when she is not there. When she returns from scheduled days off, she said the residents will always say how much they missed seeing her and that feeling is mutual.

Beacon Brook’s Director of Nursing Services Rita Bush said Testa’s dedication and loving demeanor to others help her succeed in her role.
“Although I have many good staff, it is rare for someone to consistently be calm, caring and an excellent caretaker. Above that, she has excellent attendance, is respected and respectful to everyone. I’ve received only positive comments from staff she has mentored and only positive comments from residents. All her tasks are consistently completed without reminders. I would clone her if I could.”

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May 7, 2023 A Healthier Approach To Caring