Hi my name is Erica. I currently reside in Fair Oaks, CA and I have over 15 years of healthcare experience.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a healthcare worker because I followed by father's footsteps in the healthcare field. My father have been a firefighter since I was two. Ever since I was a little girl growing up in a fire station, I wanted to be like him. So I followed in his footsteps and continued my life career in healthcare, caring for just about everybody, every department and every floor there is in a hospital field to working in the senior homes.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to give to a new caregiver that doesn't have any experience is follow your instincts and you have to learn how to think outside the box. A lot of it has to do with critical thinking and you'll learn that over time. You have to have that sixth sense of knowing because a lot of senior citizens that I found don't really are honest with you, or don't tell you really what they want, when you know that they are maybe shy or dont know you very well or don't trust you. That's the other thing. You need to develop a trust relationship with your client. If you don't have that, then it's going to be an off-balance situation. But if anything, just learning that sixth sense, knowing how to think outside the box and know how to critically think about a situation, it really comes a long way.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I never will forget is my June. Her name was June and she was on hospice care. I was told she only had 24 hours to live when I was assigned to her. After meeting the family and talking to the family about her and what her likes were, after my years of experience, I've learned that these patients are still alive inside and after talking to the family, I asked them for a list of music, things that she liked. It turns out she liked Broadway musicals and Hawaiian music and her alma mater, she was a proud alma mater. Huge fan of her school, the songs, the fight songs, football games. Just knowing this information, I was able to utilize something that was inside her and after my 12 hours of sitting with her on countless days and countless nights, I played this music off my iPad and from someone that was bedridden to practically on the verge of death, she came back. It was not-- I mean, I don't know if it was a miracle or she just wasn't ready to go or if it just renewed her life, but she was able to come out of her sleep and start singing Edelweiss off of Sound of Music. This experience happened in front of the family, in front of the granddaughter and her and her grandmother just started singing Edelweiss together and for that to happen, that is just something I will never forget.