This is where YOU submit to me a diary of your day, whether good or bad, and I will post it here with your permission (by filling out this form below you grant permission to print your diary entry)

Judy's thoughts

I am just starting my cna classes starting jan 8, 2001, and am also starting rather late in life....i am currently 37 and will be 38 in father has been diagnosed with ms and also is diabetic on insulin.
The nursing home I am currently enrolled in class is a little bit different and i can only hope better than some of the ones i have heard about. The patients are 5 to 1 and so hopefully i will be better able to spend more time with them and get to know them on a one on one basis.
The facility that I will be training at also has a specific unit set up specifically for alzheimer patients...they actually have 3 seperate units 1 for beginning, middle and end stage.
I am extremely glad i found this website and cant wait to get started on what i was really meant to do with my life. Thanks for listening.

Naomi's day

Saturday night was seeming normal, actually a bit good, we had enough staff. My care time is routine, even though I constantly beat myself up that i don't have more time. I went in to put a stroke patient down and looked over to the other bed. Her roommate is lovely and sweet. She recently got out of the hospital and isn't herself anymore, it scares me. They had a G-Tube put in at the hospital and I think it has affected her in some way.
Over and over again I hear her say, "can you help me? please help me." Usually when I ask how I can help her, she just looks at me with her sweet eyes and says "I don't know, just help me."
All I want to do is sit with her and cry but the longer I spend with her, the less time I have to spend with the others. She is slowly loosing her grip on reality, I know that.
On Saturday, she was asking me for help and when I asked how, she said "could you pray for me?" It's at this point where I just think that routine can just be pushed away. I stood there, taking both hands in hers and started to pray with her, pray for God's will in her life at this time and praying for some relief from whatever pain she was in.
When I got done I kissed her on the forehead and said "I love you."
She said "I love you too sweetheart"
On Monday, she is still there, with the same amount of a grip on reality. she is still asking for help and thanking you for trying. I am worried, but all I can do is pray.
It's times like this I realize more and more, I'm not in this for the cash, but for something so intangible, but precious, that I can't do without it.

I entered the nursing field through Occupational Therapy eight years ago. I was 18 years old and had no idea what a nursing home was. Since then, I have worked as a Social Services Assistant, technician for spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, Surgical Intensive Care, and as a CNA.

What I have seen in my eight years of service is frightening. As CNA's, we are the least educated, least paid (below janitors in some cases), and the most liable when it comes to the care of our patients.

There was a case in Michigan this year in which a patient's wife came in to feed her husband. The resident choked to death and the CNA went to jail. They said: "It was the responsibility of the CNA to be present during feedings and insure aspiration wouldn't occur." This is a travisty. I never trained to be a CNA.

I came from a more trained and skilled area of nursing. I challenged the exam and performance exam. I wanted to help the patients that I knew needed it. I knew I could be a great CNA and do for my patients that others might not be able to. I also wanted to help other CNA's aspire to reach these same goals and go beyond and above the call of duty.

What I have found is: a lack of staff in EVERY Nursing Facility, a lack of compassion from staff and resident's family, a lack of funds to make sure these residents I cared for so deeply would be cared for, and a surplus of ignorance on the part of State Officials when it comes to the regulation of number of staff versus number of patients. How can any one person care for 20 or 22 patients in eight hours the way a patient needs attention? You can't.

I think of all these things when I come home from a tough night of diapers, residents that are abusive, staff that's even worse, Doctors that treat you as though this is an alternative to welfare for you, and that ONE patient that makes you want to come back.

There is always that ONE patient.
The one that seems so confused at times, but you can't help but absolutely love. The one that makes you want to stay and fight for what we as humans know is right for them! A decent environment to live in, good food to eat whether it is pureed or not, freedom to be what they couldn't be in society, and loved in a way only we as LOVING CNA's can provide!

I have, on many occassions, confessed I want to leave this field, but not before I do one very important thing: Make other CNA's aware that we can make a difference. We may not hold diplomas that say: BSN or PhD in our hands, but first and foremost, we are caring adults that can vote and be heard! We can form a union if we have the tenacity, and vote when a person in office says they don't care about the elderly. Use your voice, my family of caregivers!
Speak when appropriate and whenever someone will listen.

Do it for that ONE patient.

I started out as an Activities Assistant. I realized that I could be of better service to the residents as a CNA. I went through the training, passed the test and now a year later I am still enjoying my work. There are many things that I could use as a reason for leaving the field. Few of the many things mentioned in Shari's articles. But I love giving care to the residents. My problem is with my health. I have an autoimmune disorder with one of the syptoms being arthritis. Along with this, I have developed heel spurs in my feet. I have changes my shoes, purchased inserts for my shoes and I wrap my left foot, which seems to be the worst. Today, it was very difficult for me to walk at all. I take 1200 IUB a day for the pain, but there must be another solution. Please give me some advice.
P.S. I am glad I found you.

  • Webmistress Notation:: If anyone is interested in helping out this person, contact her at

    I just became a CNA in April of this year. After having an opportunity to witness the travesty of trying to care for 10 patients in an 8 hr setting, I determined home health care was the path I should take. However there are also good and bad agencies there too. I finally found a reputable company and now have 1 patient to take care of. Keep searching girls! If we work together for the betterment of this field, eventually change will occur.
    Linda Green