Joe Benedicto

I have time for my family and furthering my education

How can Joe Benedicto be responsible for the care of many residents and still have time to earn a master’s degree and spend lots of quality time with his family? It’s not so much a question of how he does it as it is a question of when he’s able to fit it in.

Joe is the nighttime charge nurse at Point Lookout Nursing & Rehab in Hollister, Missouri. He enjoys the quiet atmosphere of the 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. shift at the nursing home and the extra time he gets during the day. Joe worked with LifePath Health Careers and its president, Buddy Goldammer to find his job and new home in Missouri.

Joe Benedicto, RN – Hollister, Missouri

“Oh, I love the night duty,” Joe says. “Everybody wants the morning shift. The morning shift is busy, everybody is awake. But at night, they are comfortably resting and I love it.”

Residents in a nursing home tend to be much more stable than those patients in an acute care setting. The medications and the daily routines don’t change much from day to day, which allows nurses to manage a much larger number of patients during a shift than they would in a hospital. That has allowed Joe to manage his work more efficiently and make purposeful use of his time during his shift.

“At night, I work, but in the daytime, I can send my kid to school and be with her during important affairs at school. I can go with my wife to shop and run errands,” Joe says. “I’m using this spare time to enroll in a master’s program. I have to do clinicals now, shadowing a doctor and making recommendations during the day after I finish with my work at night, so that’s a big win. So, when my contract is done, I can graduate to a different nursing specialty.”

Joe says starting out working in a nursing home has become a stepping stone to advance his career to another specialty. Something he says he couldn’t have done in the fast-paced environment of a hospital.

“In a nursing home, once you master the new procedures, equipment and documentation, you can set your routine more efficiently,” Joe says. “As we age, you come to think about how many productive years we have left. Will we still have the strength to be lifting people and chasing residents’ call lights? I told myself, ‘Joe, you have five more years to do those things, so try to find your own niche where you can relax and still do the nursing job.’”

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