06/01/05 — Home nursing aide honored

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Home nursing aide honored

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 1, 2005 1:46 PM

For nursing assistant Lorraine Cannady, taking care of someone suffering from a terminal illness isn't a job, it's a labor of love.

Mrs. Cannady, who works for Home,Health and Hospice, was named Nursing Assistant of the Year by the state Association for Home Care.

She doesn't just work at her job, she truly serves those who need her help, said Bobby Shoemake, who directs private duty nurses for the organization.

"I feel privileged to work with Lorraine," Shoemake said. "She's a person you know you can depend on.

"When you have a client crisis and you come up with short notice and it's important to be done, I know I can pick up the phone, I can call Lorraine and she'll arrange her schedule to fit the needs of that client."

Shoemake nominated Cannady for the award, which was presented by Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue at a ceremony last month in Durham.

"They're looking for exemplary people," Shoemake said, those who contribute to the client, to the agency, and to the profession."

He said that on a number of occasions, Mrs. Cannady helped patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses live longer than expected.

The job of an in-home aide is to provide nursing care that ranges from feeding and bathing to taking vital signs.

"This is the only time sometimes that the family members can get out," Mrs. Cannady said. "So it's just as important for them as it is for the patients."

She currently is working with two patients, traveling to their homes during the week for four-hour shifts with each.

"I love my job," she said. "I'd rather be on the road.

"Some people are made for offices. I guess I'm made for the road."

Shoemake said Mrs. Cannady is self-motivated and has shown initiative in a variety of ways, from volunteering to mentor new graduate nursing assistants to returning to school for the training necessary to be able to care for more critically ill patients.

Although her job comes with many challenges and heartaches, Mrs. Cannady said the rewards far outweigh the demands.

"I just think it's an honor to take care of family members," she said. "It's sad to see (a patient) go, but we have happy times when we're together and that's what keeps you going on."

A native of England, Mrs. Cannady moved to America 31 years ago after marrying husband, Glenn, who was in the Air Force. They have two daughters and a son-in-law.