In The Words of Doc….

I first found out about Goodwill’s Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) training program when I was doing in-home care. At the time, my job was very inconsistent and limited because I didn’t hold any certifications. I no longer wanted to be an occasional health aide, and decided to pursue CNA training.

At Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, I felt comfortable. I did not feel out of place, but felt like I’ve known these people for years. The instructor was great and the intake worker was very nice too. The training was challenging at times but I made it work and was assisted a lot by my instructor. It also helped that I am extremely passionate about helping others, allowing me to take this class very seriously. When it got hard, I kept pushing.

Clinicals were interesting. It was very different than learning in a classroom. They actually had you jumping in and applying your skills in real life situations. It was an adjustment, but once I did, I grew comfortable in what I was doing. Clinicals also provided an idea of the different personalities I would be working with and how to handle different circumstances.

When training was coming to an end, I was feeling nervous and lost. Where do I go? Where do I apply? That’s when everything started to happen so fast. All of a sudden I was receiving call after call from employers. The responses were so quick that it got to the point where I had to figure out where I wanted to go, not where I should apply. It was completely unexpected. Before my certification, working was a lot harder due to inconsistent work schedules and lower wages. It is completely different now. I go to work smiling knowing I’m able to help more people on a regular basis. My sister and best friend even graduated from Goodwill’s training program and I was able to come back to speak at the ceremony.

I love my job. It can be overwhelming at times, but it comes with the territory. I am going to stay in this field and plan to further my skills. I’m now considering going back to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

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