My Education: Newbury College (Brookline, MA)
My Prior Experience: I worked as a private care attendant for eleven years and also took care of the elderly.
My Company: My company works with the mentally challenged and patients with traumatic brain injuries. They own several residences and also run a day care program for the same group of patients.
Job/Career Overview: I am responsible for taking care of the needs of five men with traumatic brain injuries in two different homes. My work is aimed at integrating them into the community and assisting them with all aspects of their lives: food shopping, cleaning, concocting weekly menus, doing laundry and planning activities.
I also help them to enhance their proficiency at painting, computers, writing or other hobbies they enjoy. Basically I try to keep them busy as much as of the time as I can such, playing games, watching movies or going for walks in the neighborhood, but I encourage them too to take part in meal planning and cooking and I help them with their finances, banking, spending and so forth.
More Insights: This job is a very rewarding one but has its ups and downs, just like all jobs. It can be emotionally and mentally draining at times to feel you made a difference in your patients' lives.
The most important qualities to possess are caring, patience and understanding and the desire to help. Anyone can do this job, but it takes the right people to make it matter.
I rate this career 10 out of 10.
The worst part of the job is when a patient gets verbally and physically abusive. Or when the patients get stubborn and refuse to do what's required of them: taking a shower, for example, or completing a workout.
The best part is when the men are happy, laughing, joking with one another and comfortable and content with their surroundings. Also when you come back for your next shift and they greet you with a smile and a "Hello, how was your day?"
1. Stand your ground. Don't let your patients manipulate you.
2. Be patient, calm and understanding.
3. Treat the men and the house with respect, as you would your own.