CNA, Transitions Coordinator
“It’s the greatest job”
I’m an Oregon girl, born in Pendleton and raised in Prineville since I was one year old. Growing up I wanted to be a nurse and after graduating from high school I went to Central Oregon Community College to study pre-nursing. During that time, I ended up getting my license to be a Certified Nursing Assistant and immediately went to work at Regency Rehabilitation Center in Redmond. I was only there for one year when I decided it wasn’t for me. I went back to managing Tom and Charlie’s pizza place where I was working while studying pre-nursing and thought I’d never be a CNA again. It was very hard work. Long hours, long days, emotionally and physically taxing working in a facility where we had so many patients, and so little time to spend with all of them.
In 2014 the CNA who was here at Hospice of Redmond reached out to me and asked me to apply for a position here; she explained it would be much different than a facility. I was accepted for the position and learned that she was right. In hospice care, we can have so much more time with our patients and families; I’m able to focus on extremely personalized care for each one of my patients. For those who request, I’m able to spend anywhere from one to six hours with them a week.
What I do can be very challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding. I’m in there cleaning them off and assisting with tasks that you and I find easy, but for them an easy task is hard, they are very tired at this stage in their life. I hear so many life lessons and stories and build wonderful relationships with our patients and their families. I always joke that it’s amazing what people will say to you when you’re giving them a bath! I always ensure their dignity is protected because what I do requires vulnerability from all our patients, I’m doing what a family member would typically do. I love what I do and I’m grateful I have so much time with all our patients. It’s the greatest job, helping families navigate this time in their lives, we get to become their family and care for their loved ones.