Meet Mayra Cota, LVN!
We are so proud to congratulate Mayra Cota on her new role as Helping Hands Group’s first LVN! Mayra has worked as a caregiver with Helping Hands since 2012, while also pursuing her nursing certification. As Helping Hands grows and expands, Mayra will provide medical expertise and work with our clients’ doctors to ensure the highest level of care.
A Santa Barbara native, Mayra attended local schools growing up and completed both her CNA and LVN training at Santa Barbara City College. After 2 semesters studying interior design, Mayra decided that it wasn’t the career for her and made the switch to the nursing program. She credits the challenge of working while going to school with shaping her as a caregiver and nurse, as well as the combination of technical learning in the field along with by-the-book learning in school.
At Helping Hands, for years Mayra was able to have a flexible schedule that accommodated her coursework at SBCC. It has been such a pleasure see Mayra reach her goals, and to support and encourage her every step of the way. Her story is an example of the achievement and growth that is possible at Helping Hands, of the opportunity that we provide for our employees to further their careers while continuing to work in their chosen field.
Mayra got her start as a caregiver when she needed to find work, and a friend who worked with a private client recommended her for the care team. She went to work there and continued to serve the client for the next 6 years, until he passed. That first client motivated her to go for her nursing certification; he helped her with homework, read her essays, and encouraged her to pursue her goals.
“He was a character,” Mayra says, and notes that she’s worked with quite a few “characters” throughout her career. From her first client’s love for going on trips, which necessitated loading the car with commode and all manner of continence supplies, and his habit of stealing things from restaurants; to a current client, who is a former model, screaming out loud in disbelief at the wrinkles in her reflection, there is never a dull moment.
One of the most challenging parts of being a caregiver has been dealing with hostility and mental illness. With regard to dealing with difficult clients, Mayra explains the importance of handling them gently; “I’ve learned how to manage them – not control them,” she says.
As an LVN, Mayra has expanded her technical care abilities to include wound care, injections, blood glucose checks, catheter care, and medication management. Additionally, she is able to provide health assessments to create a baseline, as well as home safety assessments.
Combining the licensing of a nurse with the compassion of a caregiver, Mayra is an integral part of the Helping Hands team, especially as the scope of our company grows. We admire her work ethic and her commitment to our cause. Her attitude towards her clients is best described in her own words: “You have to treat people with respect and kindness – you’ll be there one day.”