My CNA class started and so begins the homework assignments and study sessions. Since part of my course is online there are discussion forums where I need to post and reply to show class involvement.
This is the post I wrote for my introduction and answering the question of “Why?”
Greetings my fellow humans,
My name is Jennifer. I am an INFJ personality type on the Myers-Briggs scale and I recently moved to Nebraska; as of February this year. Before that, I lived in Orlando, so ask me in a few weeks if I still like the weather. : )
The question of “why are you taking this course?”, for me, is a bit tricky to answer. I suppose the easy answer is because I want to keep moving forward in my career. I have been employed with DaVita Dialysis for about a year and a half. I am currently working at the Beatrice clinic, but I frequently help cover shifts at the Lincoln, Omaha, and Fremont clinics as well. While I was in Orlando I worked in their downtown clinic.
My role is that of a Patient Care Technician. It’s fulfilling but I am limited in what I can do to help the nurses I work with. Becoming a CNA is a step towards LPN, which would allow me to work in a broader scope and provide more not only for my teammates but also for the patients under my care.
While that answer is real, it’s not the deep, dark, real answer; the one secreted away and hidden because it leaves you vulnerable and exposed on the emotional level.
In truth, this is my second career. I used to teach Computer Animation and Game Art at a college in Florida. I have taught students who have gone on to work at places like Dreamworks, Sony, and Microsoft. I have created computer scripts which are used globally by studios and I have a modest following on YouTube and Vimeo for tutorials I have created. I loved teaching and I still, to this day, receive messages from former students thanking me for my time. Life has its own plans for us, however, and we very often find ourselves facing situations we never thought we would.
Two and a half years ago my mother was hospitalized. We spent two weeks in and out of surgery. The doctors were confident in her recovery and we were scheduled to be discharged to a rehab center before being allowed to go back home. On April 4th, 2016 my mother suffered a pulmonary embolism. She did not recover. At the age of 27, I found myself the matriarch of my family as my youngest brother placed her mother’s ring into the palm of my hand.
Sitting in front of a computer for roughly 8 to 16 hours a day didn’t feel fulfilling anymore. Nothing did. I couldn’t go back to the life I had after all of the experiences I had gone through during those two weeks. The only reason I was able to survive the situation of my mother’s hospitalization and the aftermath of her death was because of the kindness and compassion I was given during that time of my life. I couldn’t keep living and not, in some way, give back.
I wanted to be able to help people survive their own dark times because I knew what it’s like to be faced with them and not know how you’re going to make it to the other side or if there even is an “other side” to make it to in the first place. I helped teach my class through a transition it was going through and then resigned from my position with the school, joining the ranks of the unemployed for roughly a year.
During that year I became EKG certified as well as a certified phlebotomist. I took a Nursing Assistant class, but never tested for state certification. A lot of that has to do with my own grief and struggling with the feelings of accomplishment and success, both of which had become painful experiences since mom was no longer there to call afterward and share the experience with. My mom was an RN and would have been ecstatic and that made it all the harder to do.
I had an extremely hard time getting my foot in the door of the medical field. Companies weren’t interested in me because I had no experience. It didn’t matter what awards I had gotten, what my previous accomplishments were. As far as medical, I was found lacking and often was passed over.
I wanted so badly to help others, and yet, I kept being told no. No. No. No. No. Until, finally, one day, I heard a “maybe”. I received a call from a DaVita recruiter. They wanted to know if I would be interested in shadowing at a clinic to see if dialysis was something I thought I could handle. After shadowing I had an interview where I was honest with the three Facility Administrators sitting across the table from me. I told them I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but that I wanted to try and all I could promise was I would do my best because in the end that’s all I can do; my best.
Almost two years later, I’m still with the company. I am an expert level cannulator and working towards becoming a Vascular Assess Manager. I will forever be grateful to DaVita for being the first company willing to give me a chance; for training me and giving me the opportunity to learn new skills and to make a difference in people’s lives.
Securing employment had been my main objective at that point in my life. Since I had accomplished that, obtaining CNA fell to the wayside. Funny how now it is one of the few requirements I need to keep moving forward. I suppose this is a moment of, “live and learn”.
Things are different now. I’ve had time to heal a bit more. I’ve had time to become adjusted to and confident in my new field. I’ve been given the space to meditate and to figure out what I want to do with this new phase of life and so to get to where I want to be I need to become an actual Certified Nursing Assistant.
A potential end goal is the possibility to get back into teaching. That particular direction would see me going back to school to become not only an LPN but also an RN with at least a BSN or even a MSN. I’m sure mom would do the happy dance if I went that far with my schooling. That is still yet to be determined, though, and with how drastically and suddenly life can change, I’m not holding myself to anything at the moment, but rather seeing what happens and what feels right at the time.
I know, for now, this is the direction that feels right and so here I am, and though this may be my second time taking a Nursing Assistant course, I know that this time will be different and I’m looking forward to having it be part of my journey.
Thanks for reading if you did. It was nice to finally be able to share this part of my story.