Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Christmas in a new "home".

One of the ladies needed a sympathetic ear to bend the other night. She was talking about not being able to do the baking she always did for the holidays, not being able to go out to see her sister on Christmas, and just the general funk she was feeling about being a "cripple". I agreed with her that the first Christmas in a nursing center is a tough one. All the things that you used to have are gone and you're left with what will fit in a space the size of a small bedroom.

We can help them by encouraging them to attend the activities that they can. Take them to the dining room for supper. Bring them to the sun room or outside if the weather is warm enough. The bright side is that our facility seems to do a great job bringing people in to sing, dance, and otherwise entertain the residents. We also do an angel tree so each employee buys a secret Santa gift for a resident. Extra hugs and smiles go a long way, too.

Another way we can help is by taking care of ourselves. Getting enough rest, eating our veggies, and not drinking too much are all good ideas. Tired, over-sugared, and hung-over Nursing Assistants are not able to lift their own spirits much less those of their resident's.

This is my last blog post until after the New Year. Everyone have a safe and happy holiday, whichever one(s) you celebrate. See you on the other side.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why not?

I wear gloves when I'm administering eye drops, nose spray or ear drops. Aside from the fact that it's what we're supposed to do, I don't like getting that stuff on my hands and sometimes the bottles leak.

I currently have a resident who's family member points out to me that they never use gloves to administer eye drops every time I put mine on. Every time I explain why I wear them. This adds up to ten times a week.

Next time they tell me that they never wear gloves, I'm going to ask them "Why not?" Change it up a bit. Maybe they'll get the point after the tenth explanation. Or, maybe not.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Head Shakers

Sometimes you hear things that just make you smile and shake your head.

"You know what's wrong with her?" Mrs. A asked me, pointing to her roommate.

"No. Do you?"

"Yeah. Nothing. That's what's wrong with her. Nothing at all."


"Oh, don't take that out," Mrs. C said to the CNA taking out her hearing aid after she'd been put to bed for the night. "I might miss something."


"Now, girl. You know I just vomited in there," Mrs. D said to me. After I had given her all her pills and was taking out her trash because it was full.

It would have helped me more if I had known this before I filled her with more medicine.

Shortly after I left the room, I found out why she had vomited. The CNA comes running out of the room with a tube of lotion. "Nurse E! Mrs. D said she ate some of this. She said she thought it was ice cream!" (We have a case of the stomach flu making the rounds of staff and residents. I assumed she was just getting ready to take her turn. The resident was OK and had no other adverse reactions. She had only licked the top of the tube. Lessons learned: Never assume and don't leave things that are not food on the resident's tray table at suppertime.)