Hi, my name is Rachelle. I live in Salinas, CA and I've been a caregiver for eight years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because my aunt and my grandma both had health conditions and over time I saw that they were getting worse and worse, and I took it upon myself to take the responsiblity to make sure they had the correct care that they needed.
What advice would you give to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to have the kindness and respect and integrity and the moral ethics as you would and love towards your own family. And keep the attitude of love and care and most of all patient-care toward your client and give it your best. Get to know the client. Be continually patient. You know, it never hurts to ask questions - what works best for them -because we're not them. We don't know their every day routine until we get to the know patient. We don't know every day how their mood is from one minute to the next. We don't know what they're going through mentally and physically.
Who was one of your most memorable clients?
My client, Ashley, who was around my age. She was really happy and one time she got fecal impaction and it really touched me, and it really made me feel sentimental and sensitive to how she was feeling, but I kept a business, professional attitude. I stayed calm and remained calm but the situation was she was an in-home care patient. She was in a facility, but it was a home residence. One day I went to change her brief of the everyday routine that I already had, and she was really upset and she was never upset. She was always a sweet young lady, and this one particular day she was crying, and when I went to sit her down on the bed and she was holding her stomach. She couldn't talk, but she would groan and moan, and she had been crying. I lightly felt her stomach, and she didn't urinate, and she didn't BM so I knew something was wrong. It had been over two days that she didn't have a bowel movement or a urine movement. I let my supervisor know the first day she didn't have gone to the restroom, urinated or have a BM. So we called the doctor and let her know that she hasn't urinated yet and have a BM, and I was giving her liquid diet per doctor recommendation, and she was taking Ensure. She was having blended puree liquid diet. So it was time for me to give her Ensure, and then an hour later I was changing her. Well, when I went to change her she didn't have a urination or a bowel movement so I called my supervisor into her room - who was on the facility site - and it was the same supervisor they had always had. And that day that she was crying she got ambulated to the hospital and I really wanted to go that day, but I had to stay with a facility client, and I didn't get the chance to say, "See you later" to her, and it just really stuck with me. I got word from my supervisor that she was a lot better, and it was a good thing that I got close to her and made sure she was okay. She is a lot better to this day, but I wish I could have said bye to her but she stuck with me, and I will never be the same because of it. Because she was a mute, and she had a situation and she couldn't handle it herself but she got better.