“When you are a caregiver, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” Anonymous
House of Three is fortunate to have the best caregivers in Arkansas. Breanna Ward, certified nurse assistant, has been on the Northwest Arkansas House of Three team since July 2019. She has been working as a CNA for twenty-two years in between home-care and dementia units in nursing homes. She loves caring for people with dementia and alzheimers. This week we sat down with Breanna for a Q&A about what she loves about her job and how it compares to her previous bigger facility jobs.
Q: What are the pros of being a caregiver at House of Three?
A: “I receive more appreciation and recognition at House of Three than I ever received in larger facilities. Because of regulations in nursing homes, it’s harder to get to know families. I don’t get burned out like I did in nursing homes because I don’t feel overloaded with too many people to care for.”
Q: What challenges did you face in the nursing home setting?
A: “It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the workload. I would feel defeated on a daily basis. When I would lay down at night and think back on my day, I felt like I couldn’t do enough for my patients. CNAs are expected to be on a schedule and stay efficient so we can get to everyone. Honestly, it feels like a factory. I would see residents that I was close to and would want to spend good quality time with them, especially if they were having a hard day, but I wouldn’t have the time to sit and comfort them. Also, so many families want particular things done for their loved one and they complain to superiors and then the staff gets reprimanded.”
Q: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a caregiver?
A: “Forget everything you learn in the classroom. They will tell you to not become attached because the people you care for will soon die. In my opinion, if you can’t connect emotionally then you’re in the wrong field. Care says it ALL in our line of work. Understand that some circumstances around you are not your fault. If you are going to work in a nursing home facility, try not to become discouraged. Keep doing your best and know that you are enough.”
Q: What are some of the highlights of your day?
A: “I feel so fulfilled emotionally. I go to bed at night feeling accomplished. I have the privilege to watch a resident work on a puzzle or watch a movie with them. It’s like I get a flashback into their lives because I get to see what really interests them. I enjoy the connections I make with the families. Christmas was so much fun! Everyone came to our home to celebrate and open gifts. There’s a true sense of family. Families are constantly reaching out to me and they get that immediate update on how the day is going. More than anything you get to see the little things and make those stronger, personal connections.”
We want to thank Breanna for sharing her experiences with us.
House of Three is always looking for great caregivers to help care for our residents. For more information, please visit us at www.houseofthree.net.