Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Jackini. I live in Richmond, California and I work as a caregiver for eight years. So I got started, I was a case manager and worked with people HIV-AIDS population as a family case manager. Also worked with other nonprofits in different medical settings so family violence prevention and intervention and then also worked in long-term care. Being a part of the healthcare team as a social worker, I worked with nurses all the time and so I decided just to take that leap is something I thought about for years. And so I was encouraged by my co-workers and so I went on to nursing school and I'm glad I did.
So my first nursing position out of nursing school was in oncology and so I worked on the cancer floor and I did that for three months. I just realized that that wasn't for me, I'm a community health nurse. I like to be home with the family and be with the patient and just see the overall picture of what the patient needs. I really am into preventative health and restoring so I want to keep patients out of the hospital. And if they have to go, when they come back we want to help get them back to the highest level that they can be. They have a quality of life, that's what it's about - having a high quality of life.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
One particular client that I work with she was blind and mute and so I did know some sign language and that was a really good thing, but I learned a lot from her. It's important that you understand what the client needs and not necessarily what you think they need. Even as a professional you do know some of the things they need but you also need to know their routine, what makes them comfortable, what they need throughout the day and she taught me a lot about that. And she taught me sign language and she taught me how to make sure that I was putting her needs first and understanding how we could work better together. And so the beginning was challenging but she became one of my favorite people to see when I got to work.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
So I've been told that I'm a good caregiver because I'm very compassionate and I believe that's because of my social work background. I really learned how to assess the situation and put the client at the center and not be a boss and tell the patient what to do. The patient is usually an adult and I'm here to help and so I have some skills that they need, they have some needs that they want help with and so together we work as a team and that's the best relationship