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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.

 

Jose Perez

 

What inspired you to become a CNA?

When my dad was sick in McAllen, we had help from an agency, but some of the CNAs were very rude to my father and tried to rush him. We know people lose the ability to do things when they are sick, so CNAs need to take the time to do things gently – transfer, help with the shower. People were so rude with my father. That’s what motivated me to become a CNA. One day I will be the same age, and I want to be treated well.

I try to give from my heart.

 

What do you love about your job?

Sometimes, when we’re done with the bath and making them comfortable, the patients smile. Some say, “You’ve done an excellent job with me and been respectful with my person,” and sometimes they don’t even have the words to express how grateful they are.

 

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

We bond with family in different ways. Some don’t trust us because they don’t know what we will be doing. Explaining to them about the care plan and how we will be working with the patient is important.

 

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

We have a patient who for some reason is always very happy when she hears my voice. I was not able to see her for a while, but when I came back with her, she was so happy. She took my hands and gave me a kiss and said, “You make my day.” I said, “Oh my goodness!”

I have bad days like everyone, but I’m always thinking we have to be focused on our patients and give our best for them. Later we can think about our own personal problems. People at the end of their life – it’s not easy. It’s good to give them happy moments.