Spring, 2007 Molly’s Story
For the past year, I’ve been working in an assisted living facility in Wichita, Kansas as a nursing assistant (CNA) helping people who can no longer take care of themselves or stay in their home. I work on the special care unit with people with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other types of illnesses. I give them showers, feed them, and communicate with them. Some of these people don’t have very much contact with their relatives. I try to do my job and go out of my way to make someone smile today and someone feel safe today--things like that. I go there to do my job. I try to go in with a good attitude and good respect. I try to avoid co-workers who complain about this and that because baggage doesn’t take you very far. It is best to hang around people with a positive outlook.
Things weren’t always easy I remember working as an aide at a school three hours a day. It was hard. I worked four years hoping they were going to give me some type of way to become full-time, but they never did. I was looking for other jobs, anything I could do full-time, but nothing was clicking. I would start out with my interview clothes and then I would go into the bathroom and change into my work clothes and go to work. It was very hard. I remember I became homeless once. That’s when I discovered I had a mental illness, in 1988. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. But I had to recognize that I had an illness. I needed help. I have to stay on my medication, I have to keep my doctor’s appointments, and I have to work closely with my caseworker to be able to keep going in the right direction. When I made up my mind to that, everything began to smooth off.
Relationships can help I think one thing that helped was my relationship with God and being around people who had gone places. I enjoy the MHA (Mental Health Association) where I get my mental health service. I also talk with Martha Lou at the university. She was my educational counselor there. She encourages me to not give up. The company I work for now helps people go to school and things like that to help us pursue our goals. I also got help from Vocational Rehabilitation. They paid my way to get my CNA. That’s a good organization, Voc Rehab. They paid for my class because I didn’t have the funds up front.
Looking to the Future I’m working towards my LPN right now. I’m hoping to some day go to a technical college for an RN. I would be given more responsibility like handling catheters and distributing medicine. I just try to do the best I can with that (juggling work and school). I want to get my LPN in 2008. That’s my goal and that’s my aim.
Advice for Others Don’t stay in the blues, you know, because every day is a challenge. It is how we face it. Don’t try to take all these bites out of the apple but take small bites and you get your way there. Put your faith in God and you know where you are going because you have a plan here in your head. Go for it.