Sherry, 48

(2/2) If you could change something about your job, what would it be? “I think the amount of patients we have to care for on a daily basis, because I think they deserve more one-on-one attention. When you’re caring for 10 to 12 patients, it’s hard.”

What is the worst thing about your job? “I feel like the worst thing is that it’s a hard job—it wears and tears on your body. Even though we have lifts now, we’re still pulling people up in the bed. Twenty years ago we didn’t have the lifts, so I tell new CNAs today they should use those lifts. I had knee replacements already, in both knees. My hips hurt, my back hurts, my shoulders hurt. I can sit in this chair, but when I get you’re gonna see me hobble. But it’s worth it.”

What is the best thing about your job? “The interaction with the patients. You become so close to them, and not only to them, but the families too. It’s like you have a whole other family. That’s the best part of it, along with the fact that you know you’re helping them. You’re doing it because that’s what you want to do. Nobody’s making us do it. I could have gone to nursing school a hundred times over but that’s not what I wanted to do. To me, everybody has a place where they feel they make the most difference –whether it’s a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a doctor, whatever it is, I’m happy because it takes all of us. But if you feel like being a CNA is where are doing the most good, that’s where you need to be.”

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