The Emotional Rewards of a Caregiving Career

HiringThe COVID-19 Pandemic caused many people to rethink what they want to do to make a living. They realize that they have a choice when it comes to their work environment, and they are looking for a job that not only meets their financial and flexibility needs but is also emotionally fulfilling. Many people have discovered that a caregiving career can fill all of those requirements.

When I learned Dakota Home Care is hiring in-home caregivers at various skill levels, I immediately thought of several people I know who love their jobs caring for others. I hope that sharing their stories might help some of our readers tip the balance in favor of a caregiving career with us. You can go to the “Join Our Team” page on our website to read quotes from people who are currently working for Dakota Home Care.

KaDee’s Story

KaDee was the first person who popped into my head. She helped care for my dad more than five years ago, but I still remember her positive attitude, her genuine concern and her kindness, even though he wasn’t always kind to her. She and I became Facebook friends, and in January, after 20 years as a CNA, she posted this: (I asked her permission to share it with you.)

“I’ll tell you what, nothing compares to the joy you’ll feel when you give [an elderly person] an amazing shower and they tell you they love you just because you cleaned them. Or the bittersweet happiness you feel when [someone] grabs you by the hand when they’re almost too weak to eat and just won’t let go of you because you helped them, and your presence is comforting them….

“Being a CNA is not easy. It [can be] exhausting, emotional, aggravating, fast pace, heartbreaking…., but I can guarantee you there’s not another job as rewarding as this. I love my [clients when they are] grouchy, happy, needy, sad, and even the [ones] who are completely dependent on [me] for their survival because they can’t do anything for themselves. Listening to them tell stories about their happiest moments, knowing they trust me with that much information is such a blessing and such a good feeling. No matter how hard my day is to deal with, how long it is, how busy it is….I absolutely love what I do.”  KaDee was recently awarded CNA of the year by her employer.


Erica’s Story

In the summer of 2020, I wrote an article for the Dakota Challenger, a publication of the Dakota Center for Independent Living. In the process, I interviewed Erica who was hired by Dakota Home Care as a Pediatric Private Duty Nurse to take care of Owen, a preemie, who finally got to go home after a year in the hospital. Owen’s dad, Blaine, said he would have been in the hospital even longer if Dakota Home Care hadn’t been able to provide the care he needed. Erica helped to care for Owen in his home for four years, until he was five.

Erica and family
Photo by Frank Stanko of the Wahpeton Daily News

When asked what she like most about her job with Owen and his family, Erica said, ““Being a nurse in the home is such a rewarding job. You get to dedicate all your time to one patient. Watching your patient flourish and hit all their milestones isn’t something you get to see if you are in a hospital setting. I loved that I was able to help him flourish and to work with his family and care team to help him become a  normal child—to be a kid. I will always remember him and his family. The family will always be in my life, exchanging updates and pictures.”

Owen’s mom hopes that, going forward, Owen can be just a normal 5-year-old. He had in-home nursing care from Sept of 2016 to July of 2020, but if he needed it again, she wouldn’t hesitate. “Children can thrive when they are in a home setting. They have more opportunities for development and interaction with other people in your home” She also wants to encourage future nurses to consider going into home care. “You can do an intensive level of care in someone’s home, with the same patient every day. Owen’s care was very medically and technically based. It was not just babysitting. When you find people who fit well with your family, it’s not at all weird or uncomfortable to have them in your home. They become a part of your family and are comfortable to be with. Dakota Home Care was always receptive to making sure everyone they sent was a good fit.” You can read the entire article about Owen and his care in the Uncategorized topic on our “Blog” page under “Resources.”


April’s Story

April has worked as an in-home CNA for more than eight years. I saw her at work a few times when I was at a friend’s home. April came every evening to get my friend’s husband ready for bed. She was smiling when she came and when she left. I knew I wanted to talk to her. She told me, “I absolutely love what I do. I get great rewards from my job. It’s a blessing in my life. I love serving and helping people.

“I love becoming connected with families, being a friend they can trust, building rapport and focusing on their needs. So many families have left an impression on me. We’ve created lasting bonds and friendships. I love knowing that families have requested me because they know their family member is going to get the love and the care that they need. They know I will treat them like a member of my family, or how I would want my family member to be taken care of if they were in that situation.

“I enjoy serving people with Alzheimer’s and dementia more than anything else I do. It is such a relief for families to get help. One woman had waited a long time to ask. I could see the relief on her face when I helped her husband shower. He and I had a good time. He went right into the shower for me. I didn’t have to fight him like his wife did.” I asked her how she deals with people with dementia who might get angry. She said, “It’s about how quickly can you turn the situation around, find something they like and distract them. Let them know their frustration is not getting to you. Find out what age level they are on and treat them accordingly.”

I asked April what advice she would give someone who is considering a job in home care. She said, “If your heart isn’t in it, it won’t be the job for you. I love the people I care for like you love your own parents. I’ve helped to saved relationships between children and their parents by relieving them of a burden and letting them concentrate on loving each other without animosity. I want my job to be about the care of the individual and preserving relationships between family members. The love I get means way more to me than my paycheck.”



Employer Choice AwardDakota Home Care, a leading provider of home helper services in Fargo and other ND metropolitan areas, is honored to have been designated a 2022 Home Care Pulse Employer of Choice. This award is based upon employee satisfaction scores from telephone interviews conducted by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction firm. As an Employer of Choice, we have proved that we deliver both high-quality care and employment.

We’re always seeking dedicated, honest, and compassionate people to join us in our quest to provide a higher quality of life for our neighbors in need, and in return, we reward each of our care staff in a variety of ways.

Our extensive benefits package includes:

  • A flexible work schedule
  • Competitive weekly pay
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Holiday pay
  • Paid time off
  • An employee assistance program
  • Monthly training and education

To get started on your path to a caregiving career, simply click the APPLY NOW button on the “Join Our Team” page on our website. Once we receive your application, we’ll review and contact you if your skills are a match with our current hiring needs. At that time, we’ll schedule a phone interview, followed by an in-person interview, background and reference checks, and if appropriate, an offer of employment, orientation, and training.

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