Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi, my name is Mary. I live in Oakland, California. I've been a CNA for over 20 years. Been working in the profession field that I'm in-- I've been in here for 35 years. What inspired me to be a caregiver because as I was a little girl I always wanted to be a nurse and I worked in the field when I was young as a childcare provider, working with children. And then I moved up to work with elderly people and from there I started working in hospitals, been working in drug and alcohol facilities. I took care of this one client I had really got attached to. She was my inspiration. She taught me a lot of stuff in this business as a caregiver and as I've been in this field I've learned a lot about the client's behavior, especially hers. She was very inspiring to me and she was my inspiration, but she passed on and I'll never forget her. I talk about her every now and then, and that what made me continue doing what I'm doing in this field.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client that I never forget, I used to care for her in her home. I used to do shopping, washing, cleaning, bathing, and we used to sit out and talk a lot. So, that was one client that I'll never forget, how I kept her smiling and she kept me smiling. Me and her had a great communication going. That's one I'll never forget. She was very funny.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
One piece of advice to a caregiver in this field, I would advise them to really focus on each client becasue they need us as caregivers and communication is the best policy with your client; don't abuse them, be kind to them, inspire them, inspiration on them, be happy with them becasue, like I said, they are a new baby. They're a newborn baby starting all over, so I would advise a new caregiver to just keep they're spirit up.
What are your strengths as a caregiver?
What makes me a great caregiver, that I'm on time and when they ask me, "Can I come back to go work for them?" I do go return. I love being around clients. I love being around people. I'm a people person. I'm a joyful person and I have get attentions about myself being a caregiver. I just love being in this field. It's wonderful.