On the bandwagon …

Ms. Colorado decided to make a bold statement for her “talent” portion of a beauty contest and I applaud her for her candor.  The hosts of a particular daytime tv talk show decided to pick her apart for being real … shame on them.

I stand by Ms. Colorado’s statements.  I am not a nurse, I am a CNA.  There are moments where you say “This is why I do this job” a time that makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Nurses work hard and I will never belittle their work.  CNA’s slog through the worst of it all.  We are often the first ones to have the bodily fluids on our scrubs.  We are often the first ones to notice changes in a patient’s condition.  We help take care of every personal need.  I have been called an over-paid ass wiper and worse by those who haven’t a clue.

As the lowest rung on the medical ladder, I will say of myself and my fellow CNA’s across the country; we are not paid well at all, let alone overpaid.  Most of us earn slightly more than minimum wage (by maybe 50 cents).  We work long, hard hours for little financial reward.  Ours is a job of love and conviction.

Just a quick comment about the jab about the nurse wearing “a doctor’s stethoscope” … in order to get my certification to be a CNA – the lowest rung on the ladder, the “overpaid ass wiper” I had to show that I was able to take an accurate blood pressure with a BP cuff and stethoscope in the state mandated testing.  I, too, know how to use “a doctor’s stethoscope”.  Get your facts straight ladies!

I have primarily worked with those suffering from dementia.  I have been swung at by dementia patients who are agitated.  I have dealt with family members who try to get their loved one to “act normal”.  I have held the hands of confused little old ladies and gentlemen, telling them that everything is okay.  I have held the hands of family members as they realize their family member doesn’t recognize them and will never be “normal” again.

I have looked into the eyes of someone who’s confused and frightened and by cracking a joke or playing some favorite music their faces lighten up, they smile, they laugh and sometimes they will want to dance a while with me.  And I, who have two left feet, will dance.

I pour love onto those lost souls.  I let them know that, for me, they are perfect as they are.  I give them a hug and tell them they are just fine.

My special story involves a lady I helped care for over several months.  When I first met her I was actually caring for her husband.  She was able to handle rational decision making and was aware of what was happening around her.  As the months went by it became clear that she had dementia and was slipping fast, so I worked with her and someone else came on board for her husband.

She was delightful, a true lady.  She was a hellion on wheels.  I was never sure what I’d walk in on with her – she kept me hopping.  One particular day she was having a bad time and was very upset and anxious when I came into her room.  She took one look at me and said “Oh it’s you, thank god.” and proceeded to hug the daylights out of me.

She didn’t really know me, she’d always ask me for my name.  But somewhere on that gut instinct level she knew I was someone she could trust, someone who cared about her.

We lost her a few months later due to other health issues.  She will always hold a special place in my heart … I’ll always cherish the time I was her caregiver.

2 thoughts on “On the bandwagon …

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