I just loved this post, thank you!
As for my 2 cents...I just finished my last day of clinicals in my CNA class, which I started 3 weeks ago. I have two kids, two dogs, and have worked as a vet tech for 10 years, so pee, poop, vomit and blood do not bother me much. I was still nervous about doing it, thinking it would somehow seem more gross in an adult human. But honestly, it wasn't that bad. It didn't even effect me the first time I had to do it. I figure it has to be done. Most of the residents in the nursing facility where I have been can't do it, can barely move, and many can't even talk. So it is so easy for me to spend 2 minutes taking care of a basic need that will make someone feel better. It actually makes me humble thinking how we take for granted all the simple things in life that we are able to do for ourselves. I am grateful to help another human being. It is not like you spend all day doing it. Yes, you will do it every day, several times a day on the people that are incontinent. But it wasn't even the majority of my day (I think I spent more time in the dining hall assisting with feedings, which I loved). And like my instructor told us more than once, if you have the chance to look at naked skin, look at naked skin. In a LTC especially, how often do nurses do that? Pretty much when the CNA informs them there is a problem. CNA's are the ones that spend the most time with them, toileting, bathing, pericare, dressing. We are the ones that will see a problem (where a bed sore, a bruise that was possibly abuse, infection, whatever). It is so important, and we can save lives by doing it. At the very least, we are making the quality of their life that much better by caring.