Career Awareness

REAL LIFE HOME HEALTH ASSISTANT

KELLY

For just about any job, you need to communicate with people, and my current position has actually helped me in this skill. I used to be shy and now I can talk to anyone.

I work with independent people and build a relationship with them as I help with their daily tasks. I do whatever I can to make them comfortable. They have few visitors, so I'm there as a companion, as a friend. When I start work I receive an update from the nurse to let me know what happened throughout the day to prepare me for my evening shift. I got my training while I was in high school by working at a nursing home when I was 15 years old. I helped push wheelchairs, did little things to make sure residents had basic care essentials like lotion and toothpaste. Then, somebody asked me if I wanted to be a nursing assistant. I said, "What does that entail?" They said, "You get to know people more one-on-one." So I took a class that taught basic job responsibilities like how to help people perform daily tasks, using mechanical lifts and how to properly transfer somebody so you don't hurt yourself or them.

Currently, I'm working for my registered nurse degree. I'm halfway through. But, I just finished the trained medications assistant program so I would be able to pass medications. It's a step closer to your licensed practical nurse degree or an RN, if that's where you want to go. You can keep growing from there with your nursing. If you're interested in a health career I would strongly recommend to start out as a home health aide, or a nursing assistant because that gives you a good taste of what goes on in a hospital and how to communicate with people.

When I talk to people on the street and I tell them I work at Mayo Clinic, they're just like, "Oh!" They think a little bit more of you. So you feel like you are working someplace special and excellent, which I do.