Hi, my name is Matthew. I live in the city of San Diego. CA and I have less than a year of experience as a caregiver.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because when my folks were separated, my mother became leashed to alcohol during the time, and I had to take care of her. And I was, I believe, fourth grade, and I had to take care of my three younger sisters as they went by. I learned that it was important to apply myself with my mother making sure that she doesn't do anything dangerous of the sort, or hurt herself. And basically that started a whole domino effect where-- joined the military. See where it goes. The medical field - right now it's just-- got my certificate. Got out. Got my CNA, and just seeing where it'll go. And I'm pretty sure within a year or so RN school's right there.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to let go of your pride. To basically understand that you're submitting yourself to the person you're caring. And also understand that you're the first line of defense for any other nurse, any other CNA, any other doctor, or physician. And you're going to make sure whoever you're taking care of is being taken care of right. Because again you got to let go of your pride, and you understand that you're the first in the line before any other health care professional after you.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I'll never forget is this girl named Katie who basically-- I wasn't a home health caregiver at the time, but I made sure that she was all right. She is dyslexic, and she was very much having a hard time with school. And I just became her friend. I just let her vent to me if needed, and she's still my friend today. She's 28 now, but she's absolutely a wonderful person. Granted her cognitive thinking isn't necessarily the greatest. So taking care of her from giving her CPR to making sure she doesn't kill herself with alcohol. Trying to just be a good friend overall is very much-- it's the most memorable thing for myself from her to me, and to me to her.