Hello. My name's Patricia. I live in the city of Pacoima, CA, and I have no experience in caregiving, but I am a certified nursing assistant. My major is nursing, so I'm planning to continue school in becoming an RN.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver basically because I had my son at the age of 21 and I had no knowledge of taking care of someone. My parents and grandparents have been perfectly healthy. But when my son was born, I had probably the worst experience ever, and I had complications when I was pregnant. I had no idea what was going on with my body. When my kid was born, I had no clue of taking care of him and providing medication, and at the moment, I was studying to become a cop. But once I had my son, I had a change of thought, and it came to me that it would be better that I became a nurse. That way, I'd have knowledge of how to take care of my son. Not even that, further on I could even take care of my parents when they're a lot older.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
The best advice I could give to a new caregiver would be try to get to know the person that you're taking care of, not just because you're doing the basics of your job description. It doesn't mean that the person is satisfied. I think it's great to actually get to know a person that you're taking care of, not just because of the fact that your job requires it, but it's the fact that-- the satisfaction you get, the smiles, the laughs. It's memories that you get with that person. I think it's amazing that we are able to help out someone that is in need, someone that needs compaionship. And for us to be able to have the opportunity to do that, I think it's great. I honestly do think that if you try your best and you put your heart into it, you honestly could be the best caregiver out there, even though you only have worked with one person or two.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client that I will never forget will probably-- by the name of Lucy. I took care of her for a good three months. She was the most heartwarming person you could find. We weren't allowed to take gifts, of course, but she would always, always-- during her lunch, she would always put something aside for me. She would tell me, "Oh, have you eaten? Have you eaten breakfast?" Of course, we couldn't take it. I wouldn't take the food, but she would always have something put aside and be like, "Hey, I saved this for you. You need to eat some breakfast. You're too skinny. You need to eat." She would make me laugh so much. It was just the cutest thing ever. She would tell me her stories about her past with her kids, her husband. It was the most unforgettable client I would have. She basically became like my second mother. She always had been a smile, too. She was always very-- she always told us-- and she was very friendly with everyone. Everybody loved her.