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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.

 

Zoe Williams

 

What inspired you to become a CNA?

I woke up one day and decided I wanted to do something that matters. I wanted to go back to school and find a career that would allow me to make a difference in the lives of others. I actually decided I was going to go to ACC and apply to Hospice Austin before I ever even applied to the program. Hard work pays off and I applied to Hospice Austin as soon as I had my certificate. I’ve had two family members pass in the hands of this organization and my heart is so full being able to now work for them and be on the other side.

 

What do you love about your job?

The comfort I bring to others. The connections I make. I love hearing stories and making others smile and being a light in dark times.

 

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

I’m a pretty quiet person and in this job it works. I think my soft speaking, gentle touch and slower work pace bring a lot of peace to people. I’m able to get people to let their guard down and be comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. I speak a lot with my eyes and when I look at others, they know this moment is OK and they can express whatever they need to.

 

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

I cannot pick one, so here’s 3 different scenarios that have shown me the work I do matters:

  • the time a young child hugged me and said, “Even though you don’t know my (parent), thank you for loving them.”
  • a family I’ve been seeing for over 6 months now recently told me I’m considered family and I can park at their house and walk a private neighborhood trail anytime I want to (which I can’t do but I cherish this offer)
  • a rapidly declining patient, who normally showered daily, hadn’t had a shower in a few days and I gave them a very thorough bed bath. The patient passed away minutes after the bath while I was still there and the spouse told me, “Wow, you gave them exactly what they needed to go peacefully.”