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Mercedes Ellis

Brief info

Working in the health care field, I am often asked this question or a version of it, “Why did you become a caregiver?” and “How did you know you wanted to work in the health care field?” I knew that I wanted to go into a profession where I could make a difference in someone’s life and what better way to make a difference to someone than being a caregiver. I’ve always been the nurturing type ever since I was little. House was my favorite game to play because I could be the “Mom” taking care of all the “children.” Being a caregiver allows me to make a difference in my patients’ lives as well as their families. I can give their family a gentle assurance and peace of mind knowing that their loved one is being well cared for. I am very passionate about my line of work. I give my all. I work long hours, weekends, and holidays. Even on my most trying days, there’s not another career I could see myself doing. I come from a long line of medical care workers. The majority of my aunts are nurses, my mom’s a Physical Therapist Assistant, and one of my many sisters is a chiropractor. Being a caregiver is in my blood. And it runs in my family.

Being an LNA is a huge stepping stone to becoming an RN, which is my ultimate goal. Since I first became an LNA five years ago now, I can say most confidently that I have grown immensely as a health care professional and as a care provider. Not only have I grown with knowledge, but also I have grown as a person. I am more comfortable in my duties as a licensed caregiver; I am more confident with my patient care. I now know that most of the time it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. For instance, bringing in your patient’s favorite snack with you when you go to answer their call light shows that you were thinking of them and that you listen to them. I truly believe that being an LNA is going to help me greatly when I get ready to go for my RN. Every chance I get, I try to learn something new. Whether it be going to a class, reading a new article, or going to in-services. If I’m not sure how to do something or I don’t understand medical terms, I will always ask. Knowledge is power. Every day that I go to work, there is always something new to learn and it comes from everywhere. I could learn a new way to transfer someone from physical therapy. I could learn a new swallowing method from speech. The nursing staff could teach me a new procedure they learned from a seminar they just went to. The medical field is forever changing and growing. There is always something new to learn in this field and the more you learn, the more you improve your skills, the more effective you are as a caregiver.

Working with TLC HOME CARE allows me to make a difference in someone’s life every day in multiple ways. Whether it be working in a person’s home or working in a facility. This is one of the greatest gifts you could give someone because it means they get to stay with their family longer and they get to keep their independence. They still get to enjoy what they worked so hard to achieve, for instance, their home, their belongings, and their life. It allows them not to go to a nursing home right off, or ever. Working with TLC HOME CARE also allows me to work in nursing homes, where I can be that same caregiver that makes them feel loved, important, and more like a person again. Every person I care for is treated like they are a member of my family. I give them the dignity and self-respect they deserve as human beings. Being a caregiver isn’t just about the medication and sponge baths. A big part of the job is holding someone’s hand when they’ve had a tough day, consoling them when they’re in the middle of a breakdown, and most importantly, taking the time to sit down and have a conversation, listen to what they have to say, and let them know that they’re still a person. Even on the most stressful days, and trust me there are many many stressful days, there’s always a positive; there is always a moment that happens that makes me feel glad that I got up and went to work. In this profession, there will always be that one patient that sticks with you; she is a part of one of my favorite memories. She was having a horrible week; her son had gone in for surgery and came out on life support. I clocked in for the day and immediately went to her room to see how she was doing. I found her in tears in her room by herself. I immediately hugged her and told her that I was here for her if she wanted to talk or a shoulder to cry on. She collected herself, looked at me, pushed her hair back, and went on to say, “Mercedes, I don’t know what I did to deserve this or to deserve your kindness, but you are my angel and I am truly blessed to have someone like you taking care of me.” Her kind words brought tears to my eyes and at that moment I knew I had everything right by her. In the hustle and bustle of what health care can be, I was doing what was most important, and that was making sure that the needs of my patients were being met. There’s always a moment where I can say I made a positive difference today in my patient’s life and because of that I know I made the correct decision in becoming a caregiver.

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