My name is Gloria. I live in the area of San Jose. I have two years of caregiving experience as well as two years of medical assisting training.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because, as a child, my mother had thyroid cancer and I saw how important her health care was. I was motivated then to get into the health care field myself and naturally, I started with medical assisting. Through that, I did it with a job in the in-home care field and I found that I loved it. I loved the connections I built and my ability to really work and exercise all that I had learned. I've been very fortunate to be able to work with the clients that I have and again I've grown immensely through that.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice for a new caregiver would be to put your heart into it. It's definitely different than working in a clinical or a hospital setting. It's more to appreciate, I think, on both sides of the spectrum. It's something that gives you a deep appreciation for your own home and it's something that, if you go into it with your heart, will help you grow as a person and help you grow in your field. If you try to excel in any medical field, there's nothing more that you can do than to see what it's like for someone after they go home.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I'll always remember would be a client that I worked with whose name was Paul. He was a UC professor at one point, and he had a PhD. He was diagnosed with ALS and I was able to work with him when he was in the hospital and had initially gotten his trach put in and I got to work with him once he had gone home. You saw that transition and how that was for him, not only that, but between his struggles, he maintained a smile. He was always so kind and he was persevering. He was always so eager to assure me of how good of a job I was doing and to help teach me, even through everything that he was going through. That was enough for me to know that he was going to be someone I would remember for a very, very long time.