The Gift of Caring


By: Cassy Schleif, MA Public Service
HR Specialist, Boundary Community Hospital
CNA Scholarship Coordinator

This is the time of giving.  Everywhere people dig a little deeper into their pockets to buy that little something for someone to show how much they care about them.  Friends and co-workers get together to celebrate the year and exchange stories and well wishes. Kids smile more in anticipation of the holiday season and look forward to the winter break from school.  The snow is falling and covering everything in a glistening blanket that makes this area attractive to skiing, snowmobiling, ice hiking, snow shoeing and many other activities.

While this is the time of magic and holidays, we can also happen upon accidents and more frightening, a hospital stay. Whether at the local hospital, or at home with in-home services, the person more than likely helping take care of your personal needs is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).  A CNA is someone who has completed a certification course that includes classroom, lab, and clinical experience to ensure they are able to provide personal care in compliance with the state’s regulations.

They are the backbone of any medical office or care facility.  They are the ones that get into the nitty-gritty of taking care of people, including helping them bathe, move, eat, change  –  the basics every person needs to  keep a healthy lifestyle.  They assist the nurses through direct contact with the patient.
Their attitude and caring are a fundamental part of the patient’s health and recovery.

Without these key people, our health care system would fail.  Nurses and doctors would not be able to carry out their orders and charts in a timely manner, and patient’s safety and health would be in jeopardy.  It is a role that will always be needed, no matter the economy.

Being a CNA takes the “want to make a difference” in someone else’s life.  Because the position requires one–on –one care, you really get to know the patients. It can be emotionally rewarding in helping someone recover from their illness, or even to provide that daily care for an elderly patient that resides in a nursing home.  Many of these types of patients are limited to the facility they reside in.  The CNA becomes an integral part of the person’s life, oftentimes developing a relationship almost like a family member.  They spend holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones together;  celebrating the small moments in life that can bring a smile to anyone’s face and warmth to the heart.

During this time of year, it is especially critical for everyone to remember their loved ones and to make a connection with another person that needs it.  We should also remember to be thankful for those around us that serve our community in the quietest ways.  CNAs accept this challenge daily and rise to
the call to make sure they leave a positive note with every patient they attend to.  They give the gift of caring every day.

If you are interested in becoming a CNA, Boundary Community Hospital offers CNA Certification classes four times a year in conjunction with North Idaho College Workforce Training and Community Education. Scholarships may be available so contact Cassy Schleif, CNA Scholarship Coordinator, 208-267-6907, employment@bcch.org for more information.