Seeking a career where she could help make a positive difference in people’s lives, Afia Ewoo, AGACNP-BC, MSN, RN, started as a Caregiver with Family & Nursing Care Classic in 2012. With that foundation, in addition to the encouragement and support she received, Afia was motivated to grow her career and decided to pursue multiple advanced degrees to further herself in the care industry. We recently sat down with Afia to talk about her progression and how she’s still not done growing.
What made you want to pursue a career in the care industry?
What made me want to pursue a career in this industry was to be able to help people and offer them services when they are not able to do so for themselves. I wanted to make a difference and give back.
Can you provide a brief recap of your professional history?
I started as a Caregiver with Family & Nursing Care Classic in 2012. Throughout that experience, I was encouraged by all of the staff there to get my nursing degree. When I graduated in 2017 with my nursing degree, I began working in the Intensive Care Unit and Surgery department at a hospital. During this time, I continued working with Family & Nursing Care, serving part-time in a new role as a supervisory nurse in Washington, D.C., and conducting new caregiver orientation presentations. This February, after going back to school again, I earned my master’s degree, specializing in adult gerontology acute care as a Nurse Practitioner, a specialty practice that I use in my work at the hospital.
Did Family & Nursing Care play any role in your pursuit of these advanced degrees?
Absolutely, they did! Family & Nursing Care exposed me to taking care of the aging population, and I really built a bond with them. Additionally, the flexibility that I had as a Caregiver enabled me to work and go to school at the same time, along with the encouragement I received from leadership and my peers, really helped me. Outside of my family, Family & Nursing Care was my number one supporter. Family & Nursing Care’s Guiding Values, all 15 of them, played a role in me going for my nurse practitioner degree. I know Value No. 5 off the top of my head: “Take advantage of opportunities to continuously learn and grow.” That has really stuck with me. What can I do better? What can I do as an individual? They want me to take advantage of opportunities. So, I took advantage of the flexibility and the encouragement to pursue that degree.
What is your favorite part of your current role with Family & Nursing Care??
Doing supervisory visits or calls and assessments with clients in Washington, D.C. is one of my favorites. I get to bond with clients, understand what’s going on with them, and offer my support and education to them and their families, as well as Caregivers. The other thing is the Select Caregiver orientations. I love to teach new Caregivers and tell my story. I let them know that Family & Nursing Care is a great company that will help them achieve anything they want to pursue, but only if they are willing to work for it. The sky is the limit. I was a Caregiver just like them, and I was able to climb the ladder. There’s room for them to do that too.
During your tenure as a Caregiver, what skills did you acquire that you’ve been able to apply to work or life since?
Going right back to the Guiding Values, No. 4: “Respect and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues and commit to cooperative, effective, open, and honest communication.” Through Family & Nursing Care, I have learned to be a great communicator. I have learned so much about respecting different perspectives. Everyone comes from a different background and serving as a Caregiver taught me to really listen because sometimes you go to a client’s house and one of the key things is to get to know them. When I do orientations, I tell the Caregivers to get to know the clients. Try and learn who they are. Respecting people’s values and different cultures has really shaped me into who I am today.
What advice would you give to someone interested in entering the care profession?
It’s a great profession to be in. Make some goals and make sure whatever they are, that you can attain them. What I really want to let people know is to respect everybody with dignity, value everybody’s culture, and respect everyone’s perspectives and opinions. Have an open mind and you’ll get to where you need to be.
Do you have any short- or long-term career goals you’d like to share?
Absolutely! It is a long-term goal, but I would like to get my doctorate in nursing practice. I know with the help of my family, faith, and Family & Nursing Care, I will be able to attain that. Of course, I’ll still always want to continue working with Family & Nursing Care in some capacity when that happens.