When I began helping my family members with my brother-in-law’s care at the end of his life, I was honored to help and take on this role, and to utilize my experience as a certified end-of-life CNA.

As our time together progressed, he told me about how he had not previously realized how my job entails the wearing of so many hats. I hadn’t thought about it in this way before, but his ideas resonated with me.

Have you, as a CNA, ever thought about your work as a “Jackie of all trades?” The work is much more than just punching a time clock and working long hours. It’s a surreal mixture between roles that are fictional and nonfictional. At times, it looks like scenes from the “Twilight Zone,” with life and death scenarios that play out regularly in the presence of a client.

Following are my thoughts on this, as inspired by Jeff.

Designer, Pastor, Actor

On any given day, a CNA could play the role of a designer, a designer of life who creates moments of joy or even special events in someone life, such as a clown or jester perhaps.

On another day, we could be seen as a comedian, thanks to all of the jokes and laughter we hear.How about an artist?

CNAs paint pictures of heaven for the ones they care for, as elders look upon the creations on a daily basis, imagining the care they deserve and desire everyday.

Other titles include actor, thanks to our ability to transform Into characters we may need to play in order to brighten the mood of our clients.

Waitress, beautician, bus driver, housekeeper are other roles we play. Even pastor, mailman, and characters associated with a holidays.

We are also a firefighters, police officers, and first responders in emergency situations.Sometimes we are detectives looking for lost items or loved ones.

Loving Hearts and Open Minds

People travel all over to see the wonders of the world, such as beautiful paintings or ancient ruins. They pay top dollar to hear their favorite comedian tell good jokes. But did you know you could find all these treasures right in the homes of your clients.

It’s true. All you need to do is visit a local nursing facility and take it all in. All that is required is a loving heart and an open mind.

Once you step inside and take it all in, you can look for the designers, painters, pastors, and other characters walking the halls.

Hear the laughter and see the smiles. You may even see a ballerina.Enjoy the magic! Remember to find the treasures right with your own elders and clients, and keep them close.

Written in honor of Jeffrey Brown. Thank you for your beautiful wisdom and outlook on life.