Hello, My name is Irangani. I am a Geriatric Nursing Assistant working at the Wilson Health Care Center in Asbury Methodist Village at Gaithersburg, MD. I have worked as a GNA for the last 7 years and would appreciate this opportunity to share my perspective on my job.
In my view, GNA’s fulfill a very important role in our society. We take care of the elderly who have contributed to create this great society that we live in, and who have reached a point in their life where they need our assistance.
I enjoy my function in this society and the fact that it gives me the ability to pay for expenses to educate my son, to pay for the health insurance for my family, and to share the payments for a decent place to live.
When I take care of the elders, I remind myself, that just like I am being paid to take care of my loved ones, the fact that the sons and daughters of these elders may be paying us to take care of their parents. This motivates me to continue to work hard…. every day.
You and I know that our jobs take an emotional and phyical toll. It would be dishonest if I told you that I have not wondered whether the pay is worth all the effort. I wonder why I do not look for alternative careers and realize that one key reason is that I like this job because of the mental satisfaction I get from helping those who need help.
I sleep well at night, knowing that I have worked a significant portion of my day assisting a group of individuals who contributed to build this great society from which my sons are reaping the benefits. When I came to this great country about 8 years ago from Sri Lanka, I had been a school teacher for 20 years. I chose the GNA field as my new profession, and I have no regrets. The nature of the work we do every day is such that I know the day I stop enjoying the giving aspect of the job, I must look for a different job.
I do not measure the significance of what i do by the pay that I get. We, the GNA’s, are where “the rubber meets the road” when it comes to elderly patient care. I am very proud of what I do.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.