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Our certified nurse assistants undergo rigorous training and a state exam to get their license. Not only do they provide hands-on personal care, they offer warmth, reassurance and support. In celebration of National Nursing Assistants Week, we are highlighting some of our wonderful CNAs.

 

Alma Vasquez

What inspired you to become a CNA?

Alma’s aunts, mother and cousin in their CNA uniforms

I’ve been a CNA for 30 years. I started shortly out of high school. My mom said, “Come work where I work.” She’s a CNA, her sisters are CNAs, my cousin is a CNA. It was just in our family – they are so loving and giving and compassionate. Once I walked in that [nursing facility], that was it, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. My employer paid for my CNA school and certificate. Now my sister is a CNA. I convinced her to do it a few weeks ago. My brother and I helped pay to get her there.

 

What do you love about your job?

I love Hospice Austin – I’ve worked here almost 23 years. It’s a wonderful thing to have so much support.

 

Is there a particular way that you make connections with your patients or families?

I’m just myself. I educate families about how best to take care of their loved one. I give them a lot of reassurance – we are there for them. I tell them, “You can do this, don’t ever feel like you’re alone. If you need help, call us.”

 

Is there a moment or a story where you felt like you made a real difference in a patient’s or family’s life?

With my last patient, every time I went, I felt like the wife was more accepting of what we were doing. She lit up every time I went in. When I went in the last time, she said, “Everything you did you made a big difference. Your vibe is what I really needed.” We walk in there with confidence and compassion, and not like we’re just here to do a job.