My Relationship With A Pediatric Home Health Agency

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“I hate Marietta, I hate Marietta,” my new patient chanted. To his credit, he had retreated to his upstairs bedroom and was speaking quietly, no doubt thinking I couldn’t hear him. He was clearly upset when I arrived earlier that morning, but I was not aware of anything I had done to cause this. David* was generally energetic and happy, but could turn sullen and bossy very quickly. He was also resistant to the most basic aspects of his care, such as toileting, and had a very difficult time transitioning from fun activities to his g-tube feedings. My relationship with him would prove to be both the most difficult and the most rewarding part of the job. When I applied to work as a CNA with a pediatric home health agency, I envisioned that I would be working for a new mom with a child that needed special care for a short time. I had been that mom myself once, bringing home an eight-week-old infant who needed oxygen and monitoring after birth complications. It would feel natural to me to care for someone else’s sick newborn, bringing much-needed relief and peace of mind to a family in a time of crisis. However, during my interview, I learned that the agency wanted to place me with a client who had been with the agency for six years, an eight-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. I had never worked with a special needs child before, so this was new territory. After my interview, the agency talked to the mother of the little boy to see if she was interested in meeting me. She

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