SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A local nurse practitioner at Baystate Medical Center is capturing nationwide attention with a Facebook post.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this post - which now has 11,000 likes - is positive.
The Facebook post looks simple. It’s a picture of three ID badges, all from Baystate, and all feature Jaines Andrades’ smiling face.
However, when you look closer, there’s a story of perseverance and triumph.
It’s often said that one should treat the janitor the same way they treat the boss.
“At one point, I dreamed of the position I have today,” Andrades said.
That’s a lesson Andrades knows well. The Chicopee woman is a nurse practitioner with Baystate Medical Center, but that wasn’t always the case.
“I started at Baystate when I was 19,” Andrades added.
Andrades began her career 10 years ago in environmental services, cleaning the place as a janitor
“The job I specifically did was in the operating rooms,” Andrades explained.
Documented in this photo that garnered thousands of likes on Facebook, Andrades worked her way up, graduating as a nurse in 2014
“I stayed, actually, in environmental, despite being a nurse because I didn’t immediately get a nursing job at Baystate, so I wanted to keep my foot in the door,” Andrades said.
A year later, a nursing spot opened up in the community health center, but she wasn’t done growing.
Going back to school, Andrades earned her spot as a nurse practitioner in trauma surgery and bringing with her ten years of knowledge and compassion to a high-stress job.
“I remember those times where I saw interactions as a custodian to remind myself that everyone’s human,” Andrades said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on healthcare workers everywhere, but Andrades told Western Mass News she wouldn’t have wanted her journey to continue anywhere else than Baystate.
“Once I start something, I have to see it through, so if I’m going to be a custodian and then be a nurse, it only makes sense to be a nurse practitioner there,” Andrades noted.
So the next time you see a janitor, make sure you smile and treat them with respect. You never know where you might see him or her next.
In Andrades’ case, it’s in a white coat.
“Your academic success or your professional success, obviously, it deserves praise and you should be proud of that, but it doesn’t make you a better person…As a human being, I’m still, I’m still that girl who used to clean,” Andrades said.
As impressed as many are by her Facebook post, Andrades said she never expected it to get this much attention and she said she couldn’t have achieved these milestones without her strong support network.