Sunday, June 27, 2010

What they want the most... for someone to stop and listen to them.

Unfortunately, when we're doing the "Short-handed Shuffle", the thing we have the least of is time. Also, unfortunately, this is the time when they need our time the most. They feel neglected when we're running around like decapitated chickens.

My advice? Do one thing at a time.

I think a lot of times we fall into the trap of trying to turn off all the call lights in order to stop the beeping (and keep the Charge Nurse off our butts) and then go back to do what we've been asked. My experience has been that all this accomplishes is us forgetting one or more of the requests and then we have upset residents. We're better off if we take care of one resident and then go on to the next one. Yes, it will look like we always have a call light on, but if our charge nurse is paying attention, she'll see that it's a different one and that we are getting things done.

Also, before we leave the room, we should try to remember to ask if there's anything else they need. And wait for the full answer. Sometimes they will start out with "no" followed by "but". An extra two minutes spent here will prevent us from running back to that room two or three times more.

One last thought. While it's nice to get away from the residents and take a break with the other nursing staff, try taking a break in a resident's room once in a while. Especially with some of the ones who don't get a lot of visitors. I don't do this as often as I should. Whenever I do, I always feel good about myself and my job. As opposed to when I go on breaks with my compatriots where we complain about everything from management to each other. A little kindness spreads a lot of joy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lost my temper...

...with a resident. Ugh.

I'll bet I couldn't even fill one hand with the times I've lost my temper with a resident. With my co-workers, it's at least once every three or four days, but not with my residents.

All I did was raise my voice. I didn't swear, call her names, or anything awful. When all was said and done, she thanked me for taking care of her, but here I am, days later, still feeling like a big jerk.

I've treated members of my family worse with little or no remorse afterward.

I know when I go back to work tomorrow, she won't even remember me, much less the incident, but it doesn't really make me feel better.

I did confess to my charge nurse. At least if it comes up, I can say I told on myself.

Looking back, I should have just walked away, let her do what she was going to do and then cleaned up the mess afterward. That was what ended up happening anyway and I could be sitting here guilt-free instead of beating myself up.

Add this to the "live and learn" file.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Nurses eat their young..."

"...I don't know why, but we are terribly mean to each other."

Words of wisdom from my DON.

I'm pretty patient and easy to get along with. (Yes, AT WORK. At home I'm a different creature altogether.) If I am "mean" to you at work, likely it's because you aren't working. And I am willing to pull a lot of your weight before I start to lose my sense of humor. After that, not only am I going to tell you I feel overwhelmed, I'm going to tell my Charge Nurse that you are worthless and I don't want to work with you any more. So, then she's going to start riding your butt and you're going to go home and cry to your family that we're "mean".

I have never had a Charge Nurse be "mean" to me. But I'm a hard worker and I'm nice to my residents. If your residents like you, most of the time your Charge Nurse will, too. Unless she's a complete and utter cow and those are few and far between.

Nurses may eat their young, but maybe its just natural selection at work.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shift work

I love working second shift. I always have, even when I worked in an office. There's something about having the morning to do what I want that makes me happy. Also, when you're at work, it has the most natural rhythm. It's busy when you come in to work, but then slows down as the night goes on.

First shift is rough because you are running two-forty the entire shift. Get them up, feed them, activities or nap time then do the whole thing all over again. The least little delay throws your entire schedule off.

Third shift is the hardest of the three. It starts out slow, but then, just when you're really getting tired, you have to start running to get people up for the day. No wonder they have to offer a shift differential to get folks to work that shift.

Everything else being equal, I'll take second shift every time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lack of choices.

Being in rural Oklahoma means you have a limited pool of people to choose from whether you are talking about residents or staff. While we have gotten more residents and more staff, we still need more residents and we need some staff that actually are willing to stay on and work.

We had a CNA walk out on us. So, of course, since it happened on my shift, not only did I have to help cover until one of the CNA's from the next shift came in early, but I also had to attend a pow-wow with the DON because the CNA said she left because the staff was rude to her.


If I walked out on a job every time someone was rude to me, I'd never work anywhere more than one day. People are rude. That's all there is to it. Doesn't matter if it's a resident, coworker, or a family member. One of our other staff members told the DON that "rude" is just an excuse they use because they don't want to work.

Can I hear an "amen"?

Regardless, we now need another CNA. One who will work and not get offended if we aren't mollycoddling them.