- How long have you been a CNA? What inspired you to get into this line of work?
I have been a CNA for nine years. I started out as a caregiver and I wanted to expand my skill set and help more people. That’s what led me to get my CNA license. I worked in a memory care community right after I had my first baby and I met a hospice nurse who came to care for one of our residents. She was kind, sweet and very caring towards my resident. Meeting her is what ultimately led me to the best career change I’ve ever made – hospice care. About four years ago, I also went in for my CHPNA certification, which means I am now hospice and palliative care certified.
- What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy being able to come into a patient’s home and provide comfort and happiness for them, as well as their families, during what may be a difficult time.
- What is the hardest part about your job?
One of the things that can be hard about the kind of work I do is getting close to a patient and their family after caring for them for so long and then having them pass away.
- How has your job changed since COVID-19?
The amount of PPE we wear at each visit makes it sometimes difficult to work the way we normally do. It can be extremely hot in the gowns/bodysuits. The N-95 mask, along with the surgical mask and face shield, make it hard for people like me who wear glasses due to the fogging up issue.
- What is something you wish people better understood about this/your work?
I wish people better understood that hospice is amazing! The work we do and the support we offer to our patients and families is just as special as the people who deliver the care. Not everyone can do the jobs that we do.
- What kind of things do you do to take care of yourself outside of work?
I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my kids. I have two boys, an almost 2-year-old and an almost 7-year-old. We love this time of year because the holidays are so much fun!
- Do you feel safe doing your job right now?
Right now, Multnomah county has an 11% infection rate, so we’re being tested at the office once per week – which is great, and we will be moving to two times a week shortly because of the climbing rate of infection. The test is not fun, but I’d rather have 1,000 nose swabs then stop caring for my patients because they need us.