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Islands Hospice serves our patients, our families, and our community with a total commitment to excellence in hospice care.

CNA Week

Posted on June 23, 2021

Ask the Expert

Cheryl McCutcheon
This month, we are shining the spotlight on Cheryl McCutcheon, a CNA on our QAPI team.

This month, we are highlighting CNA Cheryl McCutcheon, who is a member of our QAPI team on Oahu. She has been working at Islands Hospice since 2010, and has held many roles within our organization. In this interview, she explains more about her role and shares about an extremely special and touching moment that she experienced on the job:

Why did you choose a career as a CNA and why Islands Hospice?

I was looking for a more stable job. I was doing home health for 10 years prior to applying for this position. I had a lot of long-term clients, but when they would pass or go to a facility, there were times I was out of work for a long period of time. I also needed something with a set schedule.

What are your typical duties?

As a CNA my typical duties include providing personal care and companionship to both home and facility patients, giving their primary caregivers a little break. Over the 10 years working for Islands, I started as a Home Health Aide (HHA), became the lead CNA and then CNA coordinator, later transferred to a Director of Clinical Services Assistant (DCSA) position, and now I'm in the QAPI department.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the interaction with my patients and their families, feeling like you can help during their difficult times.

What is the greatest challenge as a CNA?

As a CNA, I'd say time management. Especially while I was doing CNA work, which was before we were divided by teams and location. You could start with five visits, end up with seven, and then stay busy with a patient or family for multiple reasons. Then of course, there was supply pickup and delivery. And let's not forget about traffic...

What moment as a CNA are you most proud of?

As a CNA I had a lot of proud moments, but if I had to pick one, I'd say it was while I was tending to one of my facility patients. She had declined rapidly, and she had all the signs and symptoms that she would pass soon. She didn't have much family, but the facility said they would try and contact them. Every time I got up to finish my visit and leave, I'd look back at her, realizing that I couldn’t let her go alone. I contacted my director of nursing to ask if I could sit with her longer and sure enough, she passed with me holding her hand at her bedside.

What are some personality traits that have helped you in your job as a CNA?

You need to be caring and compassionate.

What advice would you give to others who are interested in becoming a CNA for a hospice or long-term care setting?

Apply because you genuinely want to help people, not just for a paycheck.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I spend my free time with my family. If I could, I'd be at the beach every day. I also enjoy different crafts; I've been sewing, making t-shirts, and customizing shoes.