Inside Athena: The Newtown Rehab Nurse Who Pursued Healthcare During the Pandemic
NEWTOWN. C.T. — Ranika Covington decided to go back to school in August of 2020. While other healthcare professionals were leaving the industry due to challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Covington was diving full force right into it with her whole heart and soul. For her, this was the right timing.
“I always knew I wanted to go back to school and make this change to do something different. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and take that step. My kids gave me the push to do it,” she said.
For the past seven years, Covington worked as a home health aide for a home care agency. Seven months ago, she received her nursing license and started working immediately due to a job opening she found at Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center.
Covington opens up that her father is also very ill with liver and kidney failure.
“I treat my residents the way I want my dad to be treated. When I’m here taking care of the residents, I know in the hospital they [aides and nurses] are taking great care of him,” she said.
She always knew she wanted to be in healthcare since she was in kindergarten.
“I always said I wanted to be a doctor. I enjoy taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves and vouch for them when they can’t. That’s why I am here,” Covington said.
The Bridgeport resident said nursing is about taking care of others, caring deeply for them, and going above and beyond for the patients. That is the mantra she demonstrates daily, but there is more to nursing than the patients, too. In addition, she explains how teamwork is so critical in this profession.
“I love the C.N.A.’s I work with. It’s so important to have a good relationship with them. You can’t run a floor by yourself, that’s why I’m a team player and teamwork is the most important thing to me, you can’t get anywhere by yourself, you need your C.N.A.’s,” she explains.
When the northern Fairfield County, Connecticut rehab center faced some staffing challenges, Covington was there doing whatever she needed to do to get the job done. She showed up no matter what to feed, to do changes, and go above and beyond.
“I just love my job,” she said.
Lawrence Santilli, President and C.E.O. of Athena Health Care Systems visits the center often to speak with the staff, show appreciation for them and the work they do, and hear from them. Covington is one of the many nurses who he checks in with during his visits.
“Larry is really understanding,” Covington said. “I am glad he is here and in the picture. I appreciate him and all he does.”