Meet Chantel Jarrett, our health care professional of the month! Chantel has been a CNA for 11 years in the New York metro area, and credits her grandmother for her inspiration to work in health care. She recently had a resident turn 101 years old who celebrated more than her milestone birthday.
What Made You Want to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?
C: I decided to become a CNA when I was taking care of my grandmother. She was in a nursing home and we would visit her but she didn’t like it, so she came home and I took care of her at home. That’s where I promised I would go into nursing. My mom is in the nursing field also and some other family members.
What is Your Favorite Part of the Job?
C: My favorite part of the job is my residents. I had a resident turn 101 years old recently and we celebrated at the nursing home. She spent the day denying her age and said it was a misprint, so that was pretty funny. She kept throwing out different ages because she didn’t want to be 101.
What Do You Like Most about Clipboard Health and Per-Diem Nursing?
C: I like the flexibility it offers. I have options and it is easier to reschedule if an emergency arises.
What Do You Do to Decompress After a Shift?
C: I take a hot shower, my husband prepares dinner so we all eat dinner together unless I am working a double. I have three children, I’m laid back, and I like being home. Being home is enough to decompress.
Tell Me a Story About a Time You Helped a Patient that You Will Always Remember.
C: I’ll never forget a resident from where I worked when I was in Brooklyn. I had been a CNA for about a year and there was a lady who did not use the bathroom for days. She refused and was too embarrassed. I comforted her and told her there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. After that, she was okay.
How Has COVID-19 Changed Your Perspective of Working as a CNA?
C: My perspective has been mixed. I’m still working through all of it. My facility did have COVID patients. The lady who just turned 101 had COVID and beat it. It’s confusing because you have younger people who succumb to the virus, but old people I work with have survived.
What Is Your Personal Philosophy/Code When it Comes to Dealing with Patients?
C: My personal philosophy is “put yourself in their shoes.” Think, “that could be me or my family member. How would I want to be treated?”
What Is Something New that You Have Recently Learned that has Been Helpful in Carrying Out Your Job?
C: I’ve learned to be patient when it comes to COVID and the developments of the virus.
What Are Your Career Goals and Aspirations?
C: I want to take a course to become an LPN (licensed practical nurse). I am also a medical assistant and phlebotomist. So, if one of our techs is having a difficult draw, then I will go and help with a hard stick.
Do You Have any Personal Rituals? Any Superstitions?
C: I take vitamins. I’m Caribbean, so if you have a cold, you drink rum & honey. When the patients start “acting up,” it ends up being a train reaction. We (the nurses and I) look up and see if there’s a full moon or if something else (astrological) is going on. I also find Tuesdays to be the toughest, but that’s also the day I do my double.
What Qualities Are Important to You When Choosing a Facility to Work For?
C: Teamwork and quality staffing is the most important. Without a good team, it’s not going to work.
If You Weren’t a CNA, What Career Would You Do Instead?
C: Before I was taking care of my grandmother, I always thought I’d go into law; criminal justice or a forensic pathologist. I kind of do a bit of the forensics when it comes to handling wounds.