As a CNA (Health Care Assistant in Canada) slowly working my way to becoming a LPN, I am in a similar spot as you are now. I'm about 12 years younger than you, who got into the health care business basically as a forced career change. Just like you, I worked my way up from a little kid in the warehouse, climbed through the corporate ladder and had earned an extremely high income without needing to change people's diapers, give medications, take urine samples and take offensive verbal and physical abuses. I had never considered working in health care, although my mother who was a RN nurse sort of inspired me to become one when I was younger. But my dad, who is a successful businessman thinks a man should be in business and not work as a nurse!
In fact, when I decided to pursue a career in health care, my dad was the only person who opposed my decision, saying that I am degrading myself as a corporate manager now becoming a human janitor. Well, to be honest, I am working as a human janitor. While I was in school earning my certificate as a HCA, many of my classmates could not figure out why the heck a corporate manager with high pay would even consider working as a CNA?
In school, I even hated the practicum part. You know -- changing incontinent pads, using sit-to-stand and ceiling lifts. It's very labour intensive and the smell of urine and feces. I think the only labour intensive part of being a manager was pushing the pen. At the age of 49, the physical part of this work can take a huge toll on me. It took me about 1 month to get used to that. I used to cry nights wondering, why the heck did I ever consider this stupid career. But deep inside of me, my heart burns with passion and desire to serve even if my EGO, the little voice inside of me tells me to quit!
Even after I graduated and got hired working in facilities and in homes, I always get a sense that I don't belong in this career, but I think that because I'm a man, they kept assigning me to work in the mental health wing. And most of the time, I work with aggressive and violent behaviour clients; those who very few care aides and even nurses would not stay long in the wing and hang around. And so, toileting women and giving vaginal supp are part of my chore. Yes, I do get a few aggressive refusals. But I told them that it does not matter how many times you press that call bell that no female care aides and nurses will come to help you. Sometimes, I even get refusals from people who only want white care aides. Btw, I'm Asian and it doesn't matter how many times they press the call bell. There are no pure white care aides in the facilities I work. Again, this is nothing new.
I find that working in health care is not what I expected, but so far I'm liking it. I actually told myself that if I keep hating my job for a year, then I will quit the job and find some other job. That's why I didn't take up nursing first because I wasn't sure if I'm going to like this new career or not. But so far, I'm liking it, so I decided to work my pre-requisites in becoming a LPN . Health care is not a glamorous job, nor you will get many thanks from clients and patients. But as long as my heart burns with the fire of passion to help, then I'll continue to work in this field. My passion to work in my former career died long ago and I was simply working just making the money until I got laid off and the industry died then.