In recognition of Nursing Assistant Week and the work done each and every day by our UI Health Care nursing assistants, we spoke with Shante Morgan, one of our nursing assistants on 4RC Med/Surg Cardiology.
What aspects of being a nursing assistant attracted you to this career?
“For me, it was because my grandfather had fallen ill and was put in hospice. I was watching my auntie, who is a nurse and works in a nursing home, help him out. There was a time when he was in pain and hollering out, but I didn’t know what to do. I had to call my auntie and say, “I don’t know what to do.” I was freaking out, and she walked me through it. So, when I had moved to another state, I started working at a memory care place because I just wanted to give back and help people that couldn’t help themselves.”
How has COVID-19 affected your day-to-day work at the hospital?
“There is not too much of a difference, to be 100% honest. Besides all the PPE [personal protective equipment] that we have to wear, I still do the same thing. I’m still compassionate with my patients, I still talk to them. I had a patient that was actually diagnosed with cancer because of COVID-19. I would give him something like a small back rub, just so he knows that we’re here for him. I know it’s hard, you’re going through what you’re going through—however many surgeries—and you can’t be with your loved ones.”
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
“Coming to work every day and knowing that I’m helping people that are either unable to help themselves at the time. It’s like I’m doing my part and I’m putting good energy into the world. I think that’s what I’m here to do. Also, I’m gaining knowledge and experience, which is a great foundation for furthering my career in health care.”
Do you have any positive experiences that you can share?
“I used to work for a memory care place. One of my patients had transitioned, and I stayed there with him. His daughter—she was coming all the way from Hong Kong—wanted to see him before we transported him, and my supervisor told me that his daughter was stressed because she thought that he was by himself. My supervisor assured her, ‘No, Shante was there with him every step of the way,’ because I was at his door all night checking on him. She ended up sending me a card and his obituary just to let me know that she appreciated what I did.
It’s not just about me coming to work because I’m getting paid. This is actually something that I care about. I want to see them get back on their feet. I want them to get better.”