Meet Theophile Gustave
Meet Theophile Gustave, our health care professional of the month! Located in New Jersey, Theophile works for more than a living. He also works to take care of people in his home country of Haiti. Theophile and his foundation have built schools and churches in Haiti, as well as supporting hospitals through donations. We’re proud to have someone like Theophile as part of the CBH family!
I’ve heard a lot about you and your foundation. Can you please tell me more about what you do to help people in Haiti?
T: I work a lot with Clipboard Health so that I can support the people back in Haiti where I come from. I support the schools and churches and have my own foundation. I visit Haiti a couple of times a year and when I go, I visit the hospitals and bring food to help the hospitals. I do this about every four months. I choose to help the schools and churches because I want to make something that leaves a legacy and my work continues to touch people. I have built schools for over 1,000 kids. I also am supporting a music group there where they are building their own label- each of them plays a role such as finding talent to the role of a journalist to hiring a lawyer. I work in the U.S. and send money to Haiti.
What made you want to become a CNA?
T: My mother used to be in a nursing home, so I was around a lot of CNAs and seeing how they helped people. I want to be that person helping people like my mother. My goal is to be a wound doctor.
What is your favorite part of the job?
T: Making a difference in people’s lives. I like seeing them [patients/residents] “go crazy” because I make them happy.
What do you like most about Clipboard Health and per-diem nursing?
T: I’ve been with Clipboard Health since day one. The Clipboard Health staff is always helpful and I always receive the support I need. And you always have hours and shifts available.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
T: First, my faith in God. I eat well and spend time with my family; I have three children. I always make sure I am prepared mentally. And it helps that I can create my own schedule. I don’t sleep a lot because I am good at getting quality sleep in a short period of time, so I don’t need eight hours.
How do you decompress after a shift?
T: I make sure I eat well. I am a big fan of highquality olive oil. It makes the heart and mind run better. I even have it raw in the morning.
Tell me about the time you spend with your patients that you’ll always remember, or what they’ll always remember about you.
T: I make sure the residents are taken care of, specifically their hygiene. In some places patients don’t receive showers for a long time, but I make sure my patients are showered and I help them shower and shave. I also am lenient when it comes to bedtime. I allow some patients to stay up late (if they prefer) and they appreciate that.
How has COVID-19 changed your perspective of working as a CNA?
T: It has proven my job security. I am able to help people instead of asking for help.
What is your personal philosophy/code when it comes to dealing with patients?
T: I always make sure there is a pattern. Meaning, if I have a regular schedule at a facility, I make sure my care is consistent with showers and Monday shaves, for example. I make sure I pay attention to the patients.
What qualities are important to you when choosing a facility to work for?
T: The most important thing when choosing a facility is the people I work with. If they’re hard workers like me and kind, I enjoy working there. I would love to help open facilities and train the people working there.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be an CNA?
T: You have to love what you do because you deal with different characters and personalities. You need to be strong mentally and physically and be ready for everything – sometimes you’re fixing closets if the facility is short staffed.
If you weren’t a CNA, what career would you do instead?
T: I would be a food delivery driver because I like to drive, travel, and I love food.