But, I would never tell you that I am tired and I have only gotten a few hours of sleep. I would never tell you that I am also going to school so going to work at the same time is the hardest thing I will ever do. I would never tell you that tonight is especially long and grouling, and I would do anything to be home in bed. I would never tell you that my kids are sick at home and they need their momma, but my patients are sick and for some reason my work thinks they need me more. I would never tell you that a 12 hour shift is draining, and after about 9-10 hours my back starts to hurt and changing you after you’ve had an accident in your bed becomes the hardest thing about my night. I would never tell you that I have a patient next door that just tried to punch me in the face because he’s confused and scared and there is nothing I can do to calm his nerves, so he is strapped to a bed with restraints right now; however, that only makes it worse. I would never tell you that I have a patient who is running me ragged asking for everything under the sun to eat. I have taken so many trips to the pantry tonight so no, I don’t want to take another, but I will. I would never tell you that I have a hospice patient next door that has no family in there, and I want to be in there with all my heart and soul, but I just don’t have the time to comfort the old, dying patient. I would never tell you that the nurse I am working with tonight is the same nurse that won’t do a single CNA task because it’s beneath her, so I am stuck doing this all alone tonight. I would never tell you that I don’t have time to take you to the bathroom because this patient next door needs more help than you, and you are probably going to have to wait a while before I can get there because she is a fall risk and I cannot leave her on the toilet alone. I would never tell you that I needed help and that there is only one me because that would make you feel bad for me, but I am your caretaker tonight, I need to be the stronger one.
What I would tell you is that you are the reason for my life. You are the reason I wake up everyday. I come to work with a smile on my face because I am ready to change a life. I walk into your room and I am ready to address your every need, and when you push that light, you bet I’ll be there as soon as I can. One patient can make a difference in your entire night. One patients smile can make me remember why I do this. I do this because I care. I care about you, and everything you need to feel cared about is what I am here to provide. I’m basically your servant, and I am okay with that. No, trust me I’m not in this for the money because it’s not that great. I am in here for you. Once I walk into this room, I become your family. I will do whatever it takes to make you happy, and not because they want me to, but because I want to. I want to make a difference in your life, and I will do whatever I can to fix your problems. Even when my problems are stacking up outside this hospital, I will leave them at the door because I want to make this experience about you.
So, being a CNA is hard work, yes, but you make it all worth it to me. You give my life meaning, and I could never thank you enough for that. On those difficult days when all I have done is run back and forth down that hospital hall, and I step into your room and you make me smile, that’s what makes those 12 hours worth it. You make it worth it.