Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm not looking forward to Monday.

The owner is coming to "talk" to us.

The last two times the owner came to talk to us, he fired people.

This may fall right in with the staff cutbacks. Hell, if you fire the DON or the Administrator, you save a lot of money on salary.

Sorry, I'm feeling cynical today.

Ultimately, my loyalty is to the residents. They are why I go to work everyday. Five years from now, the care I give them will still matter. Unless he's closing the facility, anything he says or does will be water under the bridge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Work as Therapy

Without giving any details, let's just say that three of my coworkers (all related to each other) have suffered catastrophic changes in their lives recently. Two of them have not been back to work yet, due to health reasons. One has come back just because she had to, but she probably would have stayed home if she could.

When we were talking about this on break the other night, one of the nurses was talking about how the gal who came back to work should have stayed home. My response was, no, she needed to come back to work because she was really going to need the money. The nurse said she needed the time off for grieving, that she was due three days off. (We don't get paid for this.)

At that point, I stopped talking. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that I was right. Having three days off doesn't make the pain go away. This was not a situation where she would have to handle any legal issues due to the death. Sitting at home is not going to make her feel better or pay her bills. On the other hand, working will ensure that she has a full paycheck and taking care of the residents will help her feel needed instead of helpless. Also, some of the resident's who are "with it" know what she is going through and would likely offer her support. There's more to gain by coming to work than not.

I've always felt that work was a refuge when things weren't going well at home. I think this is especially true in the Nursing Center environment. Staying busy and feeling needed go a long way toward taking your mind off your troubles. And not having to stress about a short paycheck is just an added bonus.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Watching them burn out or fade away

I am generally assigned to the same hall. Once a week or so, I get bumped to another hall, so I don't see those resident's regularly.

Boy, you really notice changes when you only see them once a week.

Ms. X has been at the nursing center since before I started working there. She wasn't in good shape when I started, but she has been slowly declining until recently. Now she's taking a nose dive. Unfortunately, she knows it and is becoming more and more demanding. I used to be able to appease her 90% of the time (something I took pride in). If I can get her comfortable and happy for 50% of the time now, I'm doing better than average. She's going to burn out v/s fade away.

The resident that I wrote about being in the room when they passed, faded away. It was a quiet thing. Ms. X is going to be asking for everything she can think of until she can no longer speak. I had another resident go this way and I've been drawing parallels since last night.

Whether they burn out or fade away, it's still hard to watch them go.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Staff Cutbacks

We've had three med aides on my shift for several months now. Now they're making noise about cutting us back to two again. I've noticed that even though I've offered to let someone in Administration shadow me for a shift when I have to do this, none of them want to do it. Never mind the fact that it's a lot more running. In order to finish even close to on time, I have to start thirty minutes early and do "illegal" things to cheat to get done.


That said, they are also saying that they want to increase the number of CNA's to almost double what we normally have. AMEN. I'll run my legs off and figure out how to be more efficient if it means that my residents will always be clean, dry, comfortable, and relatively happy. No one else seems to be on my side, but I'm pretty sure that at least some of them secretly agree with me. And the more happy residents we have, the more residents we will have. And State inspections should go much better.

There is a huge upside to this. If they actually give us more CNA's. If all they're doing is blowing smoke up my scrubs, then we're going to be worse off than we are now.