Hi, my name is Christine. I’ve got to figure out my life. Maybe you can help me?

I found this website, caregiverusa.com while I was googling around for part-time nursing assistant jobs. Did I mention I got my CNA? Yeah, and I’m kinda proud of that, too. CNA stands for Certified Nurse Assistant certification. We’re also known as State Tested Nurse Aids (STNAs) here in Ohio, where I’ve lived all my life. In this state, it takes 75 hours of training – a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training – which is done through the Nurse Aid Registry, Ohio Department of Health. Here’s another helpful related website.

In CNA training, you learn about protecting patients’ rights, dealing with emergencies, identifying abuse and neglect, and how to communicate most effectively with patients, their families, and the supervising nurse. Most importantly, you are taught to pay close attention to cleanliness and sanitation, and how to make patients as comfortable as possible.

Are you like Christine? Trying to figure out your life?

Just in case you’re interested, you also need your high school diploma or GED, and to pass a complete health screening and a criminal background check.

Lastly, of course, you need to pass the Ohio CNA certification exam. There’s about 70 multiple-choice written questions, and then you need to complete five nurse aide tasks – all selected at random.

I studied hard and did great, if I do say so myself. I’m officially listed on the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry. But then it hit me, a few days after I passed the exam. “Ok, I’ve got my CNA. But now what?”

Did I mention I am so “fried” on working fast-food? I’ve done every job you can think of at a major drive-thru chain for more than eight years. I started there during junior year of high school. But I’m looking to get out of the burger biz. I am soooooo over it. Doesn’t matter that I’m actually a manager now, and making “not too bad” money. But we’re in a really busy location, it’s stressing me out, and they want me there working all the time. I can’t do all those hours.

I need to find something else, which is one of the reasons I went for my CNA. That, and I’ve always liked feeling useful and needed. I enjoy helping people, and realized the little things I did for my sickly grandma before she died – combing her hair, helping her take a bath, and put on her shoes, even just listening to her when she would talk about her years with grandpa and the “old days,” really made a difference and helped her feel better.

Caregiving could be a purpose in life

But, back to my dilemma! I’ve got my husband, Daniel, a seasonal construction worker, whose work kinda ebbs and flows. We live in our two-bedroom apartment, along with our two kids, “squirmy boy” Lucas, age 6, and precious baby girl, Mia, 22 months.

I need to be able to set a schedule that works for me, at a job that is close to home and Lucas’ school. Something where I might even be able to make more money, and have a better future than staying in fast-food.

A worthwhile job that’s not so crazy, so I have more time for my kids and keeping up with my own housework and errands. I’ve been having my mom and sisters babysit Lucas and Mia whenever Daniel and I were busy working or whatever, but I know they’re getting tired of it, and, besides, they have their own problems.

And that’s my story. I’m on this home healthcare caregiver website, wondering if I should bother exploring. What do you think?

I’m going for it.

So, I’m on the home page on my iphone, and as I scroll down, CaregiverUSA is asking me to join the mailing list. Errrrrr, I guess it’s a good idea to get updates and keep in the loop with what’s happening, since I do have my CNA after all, so I will do it. If I get too many emails or don’t like the content, I can always unsubscribe.

Now I’m clicking the box that says “Be a Caregiver” closer to the top on the home page. It takes me to a new internal web page, where it talks about CaregiverUSA and flexibility in setting your own work schedule. Mentions possibly making more money in the process. So far, so good…

Basically, it’s saying they’re strongly focused on nurturing and compassion as a caregiver organization. Good to know — I would hope so! I’m liking it’s a web-based platform that allows me to search for people meeting my criteria, such as care seekers needing my help in my area. On the flip side, they’re saying care seekers would be looking for someone like me through Web, mobile, and social media apps.

I also have my choice of providing medical care versus personal care. Personal care is non-medical in nature, such as child care, adult and senior care, home care, and pet sitting.

As a new CNA, I know I’m eligible to do some of the medical care tasks under the direction of a physician or RN, but I just want to ease into this. I’ll choose personal care first to see how it goes. It says some non-medical (personal) care services are offered by caregivers who are licensed or certified, so that’s me.

Well, I’ve come this far, so I guess I am interested enough in CaregiverUSA to fill out the caregiver application. I see it as I scroll down. Looks short, easy, and fast enough to knock out.

I input my name and email. It asks for skilled medical care positions. I select “Nursing Aide” in drop down menu. There’s another drop-down box for Custodial Care positions. I choose something easy from the git-go, just to try this out (Companion.) Moving on to Available start date, it gives me a monthly calendar. Uhmm, let’s say Monday, June 5. That should work.

Now, current employment status. I mark the dot “Employed.” However, I will definitely give notice once I figure out this caregiver gig is going to work out.

OK, next step is cut-and-pasting my resume or emailing to them. No problem.

Final question before submitting my application. Alright, the end. Hit the green submit button.

And… we’re off!

Ahhhh, gotta admit, this is kinda exciting. I mean, not “I’ve hit the lottery” exciting. It’s more like “what are the possibilities here” exciting. Could this lead to a better future and solve some of my problems? Caregiving with purpose?

You know what I mean… I’ll let you know how it goes with my next post…

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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