College Student Success: Career Change from High Tech to Health Care
Godwin Piyasena, a native of Sri Lanka, had a career in high tech, advancing to such positions as systems management engineer and software engineer. At his last high-tech company, he was asked to train the offshore engineers who would take his job.
Today, he has a job that won’t go offshore.
Non-traditional student becomes Certified Nurse Aide
Godwin is a Certified Nurse Aide for HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties.
“I give compassionate, end-of-life care to my patients,” says Godwin, who works nights for the agency. “At the same time, I offer peace of mind to family members so they can concentrate on daily activities. I give family members rest during an emotional time for them.”
A Passion for Elder Care
After Godwin’s high-tech career ended, he discovered he had a passion for caring for the elderly. First, he spent 3½ years caring for his mother.
“She changed my life,” he says. “I decided to go back to school and help elderly people. I liked the atmosphere and staff at Front Range Community College. You feel like you are in the right place.”
After graduating and becoming a Certified Nurse Aide, Godwin took a job at Balfour Retirement Community in Louisville.
“My responsibility was helping people who were less able or unable to help themselves,” he says. “I focused on the person, not the task. When I saw a smile on their face, I knew they were satisfied, and so was I.”
Home Visits to Hospice Patients
He has the same attitude now that he works for HospiceCare, but usually the environment is different. Instead of working in an assisted living facility, he visits homes for the majority of his work time. The remainder of his work is the agency’s HospiceCare Center, an acute care facility.
“A major part of my job is to go into the homes of my patients,” he says. “It is a lot of responsibility to conduct yourself properly. A lot of the families don’t know about hospice until they need this service. Later, they tell you they couldn’t manage without your help.”