Hi, my name is Cotara. I live in Miami, Florida and I've been a CNA for ten years.
How did you get into caregiving?
What inspired me to become a caregiver is, my oldest adopted sister, she been a CNA for some time, and I know she used to care for elderly individuals, and she loved what she do. And at that time, I was having trouble finding part-time jobs. I was 18, and she encouraged me to become a CNA. So I had saved up some money doing odd part-time contract jobs, and I went to a private school for about a month. And then I took my stated test the next month, and I became a CNA.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, to be very compassionate, to be patient with every patient you encounter, and to love what you do because if you don't love what you do, you won't enjoy it. And you won't be CNA for too long if you're just really in it for the money. Also, what I encourage any new caregiver is, to basically take their time with the patient, do the best that you can, be punctual, be on time. Just be there to assist the patient in everything that they need you to do, be compassionate, be caring, be loving. Also, have a big listening ear because a lot of the patients want you to listen to their stories. Especially if they're elderly, they have a lot of stories, a lot of wisdom, and advice to give you in your life - in your lifetime. So I actually love when they tell me stories -back in the days of things that they used to do, how things should be done, and trying to help you out and give you advice - I love that. I'm all ears. So I just say enjoy what you do - just be compassionate, loving, caring - just be helpful, and that's about it.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I definitely would never forget, her name is Brittany and she was my first client. She was a year younger than I was, and I ended up falling in love with the patient. I got very close - attached to her. I used to do a lot of things - her hair, take her out through STS - Special Transportation Services - go to the movies. I invited her to my family function, and it was-- like family get-togethers, like the Fourth of July, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and it was approved by the agency. And she was such a sweet young lady, and still to this day, she keeps in contact with me through Facebook and she has my number. She's doing very well. She's kind of in her own apartment, and she was explaining she no longer lives with her dad. But she was the most memorable client that I ever worked with. I'd given her so much love because she instantly liked me and I instantly liked her, so we kind of attached to each other when we first met. Yeah, she was definitely the most memorable client - my most favorite client that I ever worked with.