Hi, my name is Summer. I live in Novato, CA and I've been a caregiver for 10 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I wanted to be a nurse. I went to the University of Colorado in Denver, and I went to a nursing school there where I got my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. While I was in school, I worked as a nursing intern which is the same thing as a CNA, but you get to do a little bit more. So that started in 2006. I graduated in 2008 and I've worked as a nurse ever since. I'm applying for this job now because I just need a lot of flexibility because I'm trying to juggle my family obligations, so I am a nurse and caregiver.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to any new caregiver would be to listen to your client or patient because they are going to know how they respond more than you will. Things are not always black and white, and I think as a caregiver, especially when you're in somebody's home, it's very critical to not go in there thinking you know how to do everything. I think it's very important to engage your client or your patient, and include them in their care.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget was an old patient of mine. Her name was Christy, and this is while I was working as a hospice nurse. She was my patient, oh, for six months, and she was younger than I was. She had bladder cancer, and it was devastating. I just really grew to love her, and really, really cared about her. She got a little past my clinical boundary. I was really sad when she died, and I did my best to make sure that her suffering was as minimal as it needed to be although I will say it was not a pretty death. But I actually have lots of memorable stories of caregiving, but she'll stick in there as one of my most memorable.