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by Lori Porter, NAHCA Contributor

For many years now I’ve been serving as a coach to the frontline of long term care. There are many ways for you to engage in NAHCA, especially if you’re one of those people that often sit in the break room or have been known to say nobody listens and nobody cares.

We must build a careforce. NAHCA is all about building a careforce of proud and professional CNAs. Start LEADING in your facility. Be the champion of change. Be the champion of pride and professional development. After all, you say you love the residents. Here’s your chance to prove it.

I’ve dedicated my entire working life to caring for the residents in one form or another. The best way to care for the residents is to care for yourself. If you truly love your residents, how can you keep saying that and not become your best and not getting involved. There are all kinds of ways for you to engage with NAHCA.

The only reason that you couldn’t become your best is because you choose not to. We are in this together and are we going to let our residents down? I hope not. Figure out what you can do. It doesn’t matter if you spell well or not. I don’t spell well, but it doesn’t stop me from writing letters to senators and representatives. And you might say, “well what does it matter”?

I don’t even want to get into that conversation because I do know our vote is the difference in our voice. When you go to a voting location, you’re not running your mouth. You’re pulling a lever and sliding a little bar. Use your hands to write letters to say, I have cared for elders my whole life. I’ve learned enough to know they need more, not less.

I believe it’s a lot more powerful than my vote will ever be. My vote will never be as powerful as my voice. It takes a careforce. Be that proud member.

I want you to get involved today. Please don’t wait any longer. Let people know you’re out there and that you care. We are one team and we are about preserving and protecting our elders. We DO have a voice and we DO have an opportunity to serve in a greater capacity beyond the bedside.

Engage your fellow workers. Engage them beyond the housekeeping. Let’s all join forces as one team to develop this careforce that I keep referring to. We MUST become the proud professional and outgoing careforce that I know each and every one of you want to be a part of.

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