Cancer Survivor, Debra Casarez’s, laughter fills the hallway of Christian Care Center of Kuttawa. After hearing of her success at the facility, I waited in the hallway to conduct a surprise interview with Debra. She came out of a resident’s room with the brightest smile on her face giggling with delight and reached out to hug me. Debra thanked me for the opportunity and was so surprised that she was chosen to tell her story! Debra politely asked me wait for a few minutes because she needed to finish caring for a resident. My heart jumped for joy to see in person why Debra was highly praised for her work! She put the needs of the residents first!
After surviving cancer, Debra went to work! However, she dreaded her work at fast food restaurants and in factories to try to pay her bills. Debra said, “It just wasn’t me, but I showed up every day. I have a passion for taking care of people.” She was driving to work one afternoon and saw “Online Nurse Aide Class 844-CNA-2DAY” on an advertisement. She called the number and received a call back. Debra was thrilled to learn that Christian Care Center of Kuttawa was offering to pay for the training and provide a job for the right candidate. Debra was accepted into the program.
Nurse Aide Training School’s Online Nurse Aide class enabled Debra to keep her job while she studied at home. When she completed the online component of the course, she joined her fellow classmates and instructor to attend two days of skill training followed by two days of clinical experience. Debra shared that her instructor was very compassionate and patient. Debra really appreciated the teacher’s willingness to take time to answer questions and ensure that everyone understood the skills they would be doing as nurse aides. Debra passed her state exam on the first attempt. Christian Care Center of Kuttawa hired Debra as a State Registered Nurse Aide.
“It has meant everything to me to work in health care! I love all the residents!” Debra blushed as stated that some people say that nurse aides are “certified butt wipers.” She exclaimed that is definitely not the case! Debra’s eyes lit up as expressed the joy she receives in comforting a resident that cannot remember where they are at or reminding them that their daughter/son will be there in a few minutes to see them! SRNA’s reassure, comfort, laugh with, and care for people’s personal needs. Debra sings “You are my sunshine” to a resident with Alzheimer’s Disease. Smiling, she said, “Some days she will sing along with me. The days she just looks at me, I sing it anyway.” The resident’s daughter attended a retreat and painted a picture of a big sunshine. She brought the painting to her mother’s room and hung it on the wall. The resident’s daughter said to Debra, “I painted the sunshine because you sing that with my mom and it means so much to me.”
I asked Debra, “what does the future hold for you?” She laughed with delight as she shared that the facility was sending and paying for her to take the Kentucky Medication Aide class and become a KMA. “Without Nurse Aide Training School’s online course and Christian Care Center of Kuttawa, I would not have been given this opportunity. The school has opened huge doors in my life. I am planning on becoming a nurse one day. As a nurse aide, I feel confident and love my job!”
Congratulations Debra on a job well done and your upcoming advancement as a KMA! You are Nurse Aide Training School’s sunshine! Keep up the great work and spreading that infectious laughter that fills the halls with joy!