Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. (500 word limit)
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Our nascent group gathered by the admissions desk within the silent halls of the nursing home. The smell of cleaning supplies and bodily fluids lingered around our tenuous noses. I could tell that we callow group of Nursing Assistants were apprehensive. As we counted down the minutes before the entirely new experience began, a small old woman scooted by us in her wheel chair. She had an almost blank look on her face. It seemed that she was totally oblivious of the twenty intruders dressed in glistening white scrubs. "Hi", one of us said. She shifted her attention to us, smiled, warm-heartedly greeted us, and left. Her grace nonchalantly turned our apprehension to optimism. Our instructor turned to us and said, "That's Christine, she's blind."
The classical definition of a Certified Nursing Assistant is a person who assists residents of nursing homes with their daily tasks. However, I soon learned that a CNA's duty is more than just physical assistance. A holistic approach to care was just as important as any drug. In the classroom, our instructor kept reiterating, "There is more you need to know than what is in the book."
I went to the nursing home not knowing what to expect. All the things I knew about healthcare came from the short CNA classes at Harper College and the many science classes I took. The first day was an orientation day. We were shown around the facility and introduced to some of the residents. As I spoke to some residents, I noted that each one of their personalities was masked by physical pain and loneliness. Their resilience really impressed me.
As the weeks progressed, we CNAs assisted the residents with their daily tasks such as bathing, eating, changing, and socializing. The holistic picture of healthcare started to manifest itself almost instantly. Even with their heavy doses of medication and their physical discomfort, the residents always let out a big grin and shared stories when talked to about subjects as simple as fishing. The slightest bit of companionship palliated their ailments. While I shared much about me with them, I learned much about their lives and experiences. It slowly occurred to me that these people were model citizens. They were so unbiased and uninfluenced by popular culture and social norms that they did not have to hide their true character. Many of the residents shared stories and life lessons, both directly and indirectly, which I will always remember.
During this hectic time of opening opportunities and closing doors, I can't help but think of Christine and the residents at that nursing home. I will remember their resilience and attitude in dealing with hardships. I will remember how they stayed true to their selves no matter what the circumstance.