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Episode 129


Refined with Compassion

Show Notes

12/10/2019 | 52 Minutes

Mitch is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), photographer, and close-up street magician. He’s good with his hands – whether that’s creating illusion or caring for the elderly. He’s never taken the beaten path, experiences have shaped his direction, and his past does not define him. Rather, it has refined him into a compassionate soul for others passing through emotions he’s familiar with. We talk about his refining past and caring outlook with a few magic detours along the way.


Mitch says that CNA’s, colloquially, are professional butt wipers. So we talk about the proper way to wash your hands, which is tested in CNA certification. Who would have thought? Here’s the process, described by Mitch (for washing your hands, not for wiping butts)…


20 seconds of applying and lathering soap, you could sing the ABC’s twice. 

Step 1: Apply soap to hands. They could be wet or dry, either way is acceptable. 

Step 2: Rub hands together, with soap, on top, bottom, interlocking fingers back and forth twice

Step 3: Rub your fingernails, one at a time, on your opposing palm

Step 4: Rub your thumbs, separately from everything else

Step 5: When the 20 seconds is completed, rinse the soap from your hands, fingers must be pointed down into the sink.

Step 6: Do not, at this point, turn off the faucet. First, grab a paper towel and pat dry. 

Step 7: With hands patted dry, use the same paper towel to turn off the faucet.

Step 8: Using the same hand with which you used to turn off the faucet, throw the paper towel in the trash bin. Do not switch hands.


  • Seeing people forget about their problems and be consumed by card tricks, to see the worry leave their life for a few moments. 

  • He loves never taking the beaten path…”I haven’t yet, why start now!?” The path he has taken has led him through depression, tragedy, anxiety, seizures, medical conditions…and to his passion of CNA work. How comforting to know he found his true passion through hardship, the assurance or validity that this is his passion, it’s what’s most a part of him. 

  • Showing other people that their past does not define them, that it refines them. 


  • Pointless traditions, “peer pressure from dead people.” Examples include live Christmas trees and the over-emphasis or showmanship of Valentine’s day. 


  • Expectations placed on a short-staffed CNA facility. A trend happening state-wide, and probably nation-wide, is a shortage of CNA medical staff at nursing facilities. Management often sees the gaps and places blame on those overworked CNAs. However, Mitch does see positive trends in management working with CNAs to solve problems that the short-staffed facility faces. People learning to appreciate the situation and manage expectations within what is possible.

  • Loneliness, the number one problem nursing facilities face, and it’s totally avoidable. Look for a nursing home around your area and go and sit and visit with someone. 


  • Being a friend, “I'm not medical personnel who happens to be a friend. I'm a friend who happens to do medical.” 

  • The feeling of coming home knowing you’ve earned your paycheck, feeling like he did something that mattered. 

  • “I love seeing someone remember they matter.”



Episode transcript coming soon.

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