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Career Story: Nurse Assistant At A Retirement Home

Nurse Assistant At A Retirement Home

Job Title: Certified Nurse Assistant

Type of Company: I work for a healthcare and retirement group which runs assisted living and nursing homes all around Massachusetts. Most of the nursing homes also take in rehab patients.

Education: BA, Psychology, Merrimack College •• Assistant Nurse's certificate, Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group (Hingham, MA) •• attending nurse education pre-requisite classes, Massasoit Community College (Canton, MA)

Previous Experience: I was a stay-a-home mother of two and a full-time babysitter for four years, and before that I worked for six years at a daycare center for infants through five year-olds.

Job Tasks: I currently work at a nursing home which provides care for the elderly and for rehabilitation patients. There are two floors in the home, one with one unit and an Alzheimer's unit, the other with two units. Every unit, with the exception of the Alzheimer's unit, employs a pair of nurses from 7-3 and 3-11 and makes do with a single nurse for the overnight shift. On my shift, on my unit, there are 4 nurse's aides and a nurse supervisor who oversees the whole building.

My main duties are to provide care for eleven patients, attending to their personal and emotional needs and calming them down, for example, if they get anxious. Another one of my duties is to assist them with personal hygiene (denture care, bathing, tooth brushing, nail care, etc.) and to help them to walk (with or without a walker) and to get in and out of bed and on and off the toilet. I also change the briefs of those who are incontinent, either while they are in bed or in the bathroom.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the appreciation I receive from patients when I help them. They are very thankful. A lot of the patients have some kind of dementia and to see them smile or show other signs of pleasure when I am assigned to take care of them for the night is very rewarding.

The worst thing about the job is it can be hard on your body and it can get very monotonous.

Job Tips: Even if you don't think you can do this kind of job, it's actually not as bad as it seems and it's good experience if you want to become a nurse.

Additional Thoughts: I never thought I would ever work with the elderly. I just thought a nursing home was a scary place. But I actually do very well there. So if you think it's scary just give it a shot. It's actually a rewarding job.

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