My name is Julia (image above), and I’m a nurse from Saxony, Germany. Since October 2016 I’ve been working as an au pair in North Carolina. My host family consists of 5 people, and I take care of 3 kids. Loretta, the youngest, is a 9-month-old, and is a very easy going baby. She has been attending daycare since she was 3 months old. Loretta is our little sunshine and is always happy. She especially loves to play with her older brother, Alexander.
Alexander (Alex) is 6 years old, and is in Kindergarten. He is very interested in playing with Legos and dinosaurs. He loves to read books about dinosaurs too. Additionally, he likes to go fishing with his father on the lake behind our house.
My special child is Zachary. He is 3 years old and is a very happy, sweet child who loves to snuggle and listen to his music. But Zachary has a lot of health problems. He is diagnosed with microcephaly, lissencephaly, optic nerve hypoplasia, and epilepsy. He is blind, nonverbal, immobile, and significantly delayed both cognitively and developmentally. His conditions cause him to have problems with swallowing, which is why he needs to be fed over a G-Tube. Fortunately, he attends the same school as Loretta, as it is a specialized facility that welcomes both special needs and typical children. The school he attends helps him with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and vision therapy. Also, once a week I take Zachary to the pool where he participates in aquatic therapy. It’s his favorite because he enjoys being in the water. That’s also why he likes this nightly pre-bedtime tubbies.
My host mom, Nealy, is active duty military, and my host dad, Dave, is a military veteran working as a civilian engineer. Both parents are very busy, so they need my help in the mornings and evenings, and also if one of the children must stay home from school. But while the kids are in school, and on the weekends, I spend a lot of time with my friends.
My nursing background is very helpful in working through all of Zachary’s issues. I already worked with children like Zachary in Germany. That’s the reason why I have a lot of experience with epilepsy, microcephaly and G-Tube feeding, and why I can handle emergencies. My host parents trust me with the kids and they can go to work comfortably, knowing that all the kids are being well cared for.
Being a professional au pair has really helped me in becoming a better nurse. Living with the family of a special needs child has been revealing, as I can now better understand the emotions and logic of parents of a disabled child. It is truly exhausting sometimes. I decided to extend my stay here in America for 6 more months because I love being a professional au pair. And following my time as an au pair, instead of working in a hospital, I would love to work with special needs children in a daycare or school in Germany.
I am a pediatric nurse, so it was easy for me to fulfill the hours with children I need to become a professional au pair. Since I was a teenager I loved to work with children so I decided to become a pediatric nurse and worked in an ICU for premature birth. This work is very intensive and I needed a break from that. Because I love to travel and explore new countries, I decided to work as an au pair but was searching for a special agency, which will also help me in the future. Then I found apex PROaupair and knew, that this was the right agency for me.
I am Nina (22) and a pediatric nurse in Germany. I live in California and care for 3-year-old triplets. I think being a nurse most helped my organization skills, which I especially learned in the hospital.
I potty trained the triplets and of course we talked about different ways to potty train kids and I am really proud to say that they are potty trained before their 3rd birthday. When they are sick, I don't have any problem to take all the vital signs such as temperature and how to give them medicine. For example, my boy hurt his foot and had to wear a cast for 10 days. It was easy for me to put it on and I already knew how to handle it.
When I go back to Germany I still have my job, I just got an unpaid holiday year and can start right away in the hospital again when I'm back! It is a handful of work with the triplets, but I couldn't imagine a better host family and better support. I have the best host family and I'm so thankful for this opportunity.