Saturday, November 27, 2010

Belated Happy Thanksgiving and Other Stuff

Happy Thanksgiving! Late though it is. A virus hijacked my computer and I had to wait until Friday to get technical support to help me fix the last little thing that the virus did to my computer. All should be well now.


So, here's the quote of the day from Thanksgiving:

"What are you doing?" Mrs. A asked the young aide.

"Oh, nothing," she replied.

"Well, that's about what I'd expect out of you."

And another:

"Honey," Mrs. B called the aide over to her with a wave of her hand.

"What can I do for you?" she asked.

"Tell me something. Are you as crazy as the rest of us here?"

"Yes, ma'am, I am," the aide answered.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I was in Mrs. A's room last night. She told me Mrs. B was confused. She thought she was at home and wanted to go check on the horses. She said she had told the nurse and the nurse said they would come and evaluate Mrs. B.

"I can evaluate her for you right now," she said. "Cuckoo."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why not take them home?

I sometimes wonder why some of our residents are in the Nursing Home at all.

We have family members who never seem to leave. While this is great, and the resident seems to love it, why not just bring them home? If they have time to be there all the time and diddle around making arrangements to have other people come in and be with the resident, why not do this at home where it's cheaper and the resident will be happier and more comfortable?

I think it's great when the residents have lots of visitors. I'm glad we have family members who check up on us and make sure we are on our toes. But if they have time to be with the resident 12 to 16 hours a day, they need to take the resident home and arrange for home health care to come in and assist them. It's a healthier and less stressful environment for the resident and it's healthier and less stressful for the family members, too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Between and Rock and a Hard Place

UTI's are the bane of my existence.

I know what we're supposed to do to prevent them. Toilet the resident's regularly, do proper perineal care, offer them a drink at every opportunity, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But what do you do when you have a resident on a fluid restriction? I know from personal experience that keeping yourself clean and voiding regularly don't work very well if you can't drink enough fluids to flush out your bladder. Granted, these folks are usually on a diuretic of some kind, but it still seems like we're constantly poking antibiotics down some of them. No sooner do we get one infection cleared up than we have another one in the works.

I realize that this could just be the result of their other diagnoses (immobility due to hip fracture, diabetes, bowel incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions), but it's still frustrating when you try to do everything right and the resident gets sick anyway.

I suppose it's up to the physician to determine the optimum fluid intake that will allow the resident to remain UTI free and also out of danger from CHF. Still, I'd like to have a meter that tells me that the resident is properly hydrated without the guess work. Maybe I'll invent one after I create that teleporter that allows me to just show up at work instead of having to drive there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Last Night in a Nutshell

I walked out of Mrs. A's room to find Mrs. B standing at my med cart with her hands on my pitcher and water dripping down her chin.

"Rita Lee! Did you just drink from my water pitcher?"

"Yes. Heh, heh, heh."

"Well, here's some more," I said as I handed her a cup of water before rushing back to the kitchen to wash my pitcher.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Funny how we get conditioned... a thing and then react the same way regardless of what is actually happening around us.

***Whiny post warning!***

We've had several DON's since I began working at the Nursing Center. I usually refer to inservice as our "bi-monthly flogging". This is because the other DON's used it to tell us everything we had been doing wrong and to generally make us feel like we were the worst Nursing Department to ever exist.

I'm not saying that this never happens now. When it does, it's usually the Administrator running it. (Can I say that I don't like her and I'll be glad when she moves on to bigger and better things?) But, generally, when the current DON is in charge, it's more of a discussion of things we could do better than a "Hey, you losers, this is everything you've done wrong for the last two weeks" kind of meeting.

And yet, I still cringe when I have to go to inservice. In fact, I have often thought I would gladly give up my Medication Aide certificate just so I could be working the floor instead of sitting in there with my head bowed.

The worst is having to go to inservice on my day off (like today). It cuts my day in half. I spend the first half fretting about what's going to be said to us and the other half wondering why I keep going back if nothing I do is right.

On the bright side, I will get paid. And then I can grocery shop, which I LOVE to do. And if the DON is running it, I might actually get a suggestion for something I could do better instead of lash marks across my back.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Backhanded Compliment

Conversation at supper yesterday:

"Well, you look neat," Mrs. A said to me.

"Thank you," I replied.

"She always looks clean. She must shower," said Mrs. B.

I wish I could have thought faster. I would have said, "Yes. Once a month whether I need it or not."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Everything old is new again

I'm seeing a lot of familiar faces in this current round of hiring. While I am happy because there will be much less training time involved, I have to wonder why you would leave a place and then come back to it. I could understand if we had a new DON or Administrator, but these are the same folks that were running it when these employees left for greener pastures.

I see a lot of this here. Maybe it's because this is Small Town, America. Maybe it's because the pastures only LOOKED greener and they were actually happier here. Or maybe it's because we're fickle and when we say "never" we actually mean "never, unless I change my mind".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hit the door running

I wonder sometimes why people come to work and then get ready to work. Shouldn't you be ready to work when you walk in the door? Granted, most days you actually have time to put your belongings in your locker and your lunch in the 'fridge. But haven't you ever walked in to a resident on the floor or someone being combative or whatever?

So I guess this is a post about appropriate dress at work. Having worked in an office for sixteen years, I can tell you that wearing a uniform every day is MUCH easier.

So, here we go:
  • Wear your uniform. Don't wear a regular shirt and your scrub pants. Don't wear regular pants and your scrub shirt. In fact, I would say wear your uniform even on "Casual Day". Why would you want to get the Nursing Center (or wherever you work) all over your jeans and t-shirts that you wear at home or out with your friends?
  • Wear appropriate footwear. These folks that insist on wearing these "Croc" things are just asking to get hurt. I've seen more people fall (including my husband, at home and at work) wearing these things. Yes, they're comfy. Yes, they come in pretty colors. Yes, you can get a pair for about ten dollars. But that trip to the ER is going to cost you a lot more when you land flat on your back and can't get up.
  • If your hair is past your shoulders, put it up. Pony tails are OK, but I'm for a bun. If a resident is in a hair pulling mood, you won't find yourself on the end of a hair leash if you have your hair firmly secured. This goes for boys, too. We have a young man with long hair that puts his up. Work is not a fashion show. No one cares how you look. We only care how you work.
  • Going back to uniforms, wear ones that fit properly. When you bend over, your fanny should not hang out. If you're a boy, I don't want to see your boxers and neither do the residents. See the bullet point above.
  • Make sure you have showered and shaved and put on deodorant. No resident wants a greasy, hairy, smelly aide working with them. On the other hand, don't bother with the cologne. Your residents with COPD will thank you if you just smell like skin.

Did I miss anything? Do I sound like your mother? Or your grandma? Maybe that's the point. Dress like you care about what your momma would say. Someday you might be taking care of her.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More on staying healthy

So, since I've HAD to go see my doctor several times recently, she bullied me into getting a mammogram and a pap smear. So yesterday, that's what I did.

To all those women out there who have told me horror stories about their breasts being nearly torn asunder and their nipples almost popping off, allow me to now roll my eyes in your direction.


Either all of those women are serious wimps or they had the worst techs in the world handling them. I go through more pain with my migraines every month, and for longer periods of time, than I dealt with yesterday. If every medical test I ever had to have done was that easy, I'd probably go to the doctor more often.

OK. So that's a big, fat lie. But it's a nice thought.

Anyway. Go and get your mammogram done. It's not fun, but I promise, it's not as bad as everyone says it is.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Woo Hoo!

Sometimes things just work in your favor.

I've been wishing for three days off in a row for quite a while. The last time I had more than two days off in a row was in May when I took my vacation. I try not to ask for too many favors because:
A.) I don't like "owing" anyone anything.
B.) When I really want/need something, I want to be able to get it.

So, I've been trying to tough it out until December when (hopefully) I will be taking 4 days in a row off while my sister is here.

Well, I just had Sunday and Monday off. Today I get a phone call. They're making some last minute schedule changes and wanted to know if I wanted today off.

Yee Haw!!

Of course, I got all my chores done, so I have nothing to officially "do", but that's just fine. I think today will be a good day to bake some bread and coffee cake and whatever else I have the ingredients to make. I'd turn a cartwheel, but then I'd have to go back to the doctor and I've had about all I can take of her for a while.

Amazing what an extra eight hours of freedom does for your attitude.

Monday, November 1, 2010

On Staying Healthy...

...or not, as is the case with me.

So far in the last eight weeks, I've had two bladder infections, an infected tooth pulled and a head cold.

Go me.

So, where did I go wrong?

I have a bad, bad habit of ignoring my bladder. It tells me to go to the bathroom and I ignore it until, by the time I get there, it takes me a little bit to get going, as it were. That, in addition to not drinking enough water during the day has sent me to the doctor twice.

Stupid, I know. I have a hard time telling my residents and coworkers "no". Since I don't want to give the Doctor any more of my time and hard earned cash, I'll be hitting the head every two hours whether I think I have to go or not. I don't like water, but I'll be drinking at least three glasses on my shift.

The tooth is more about not having dental insurance until recently. Now I'm burning through my coverage before the year is out. No more visits until January.

The head cold? Probably being sick for six weeks made me more susceptible to the "Staff infection" going around work. We've even managed to share with some of the residents. I'm sure they'll be giving it back to us, mutated of course, so we can all enjoy it the second time around.

So, what do you think is the result of three rounds of antibiotics?

Yup, yeast infection.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of your residents. You're no good to them sick. Especially if you've got something they can catch.