Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Care to vote on the quote of the day?

"You came into my life, then I thought I got rid of you. Now, here you are again, but I'm glad of it." --One old friend to another, who are now roommates at the nursing center.


"We'll be alright as long as they don't start screaming...one after the other... in three part harmony." --Said to me in the dining room during a relatively quite meal.


Personally, I'll take the second one. It kills me when they're catty.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fashion Police

"That's such a pretty dress you have on," said Mrs. A to Mrs. B

"Why, thank you! Santa Claus brought it to me, plus three more," Mrs. B replied, smiling.

"It's a good thing he did. You can't buy a dress like that anymore. They're all down to your boobs and up to your butt," Mrs. A said, pulling up the bottom of Mrs. B's dress to illustrate her point.

Mrs. B laughed a little.

"I'm serious. Haven't you seen those girls on TV?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fighting Dehydration

One of the hardest things to do is to get my ladies to drink enough. I try to get them to take a full glass of water with their meds and they have big mugs of ice water in their rooms. Some of them do OK on their own, but most of them need to be encouraged to drink.

And they don't like water.

I don't either. Give me a choice, and I'll pick something flavored every time: tea, coffee, milk, juice, pop. Water is strictly utilitarian and I only drink it because I "have to".

I've started offering a couple of them juice with their medications. I'm also trying to take time to sit with the ones who can't hold a glass well and get them to drink while I talk with them. Sometimes I'll take break with one of them and bring them coffee or tea to drink while we're chatting. Unfortunately, these are more the exception than the rule, but every ounce helps, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bizarro Nursing Center

Everyone is behaving backwards lately. The nice ones are snarky and the mean ones are saying "please" and "thank you".

I was talking to Mrs. A (known to her doctor as "Meanness") the other day about how everyone seems off. Teasing, I asked "Are you normal?"

"No. How can I be when everyone around me is abnormal?"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Well, I bought new shoes...

...and I'd like to say they made a world of difference, but, alas, no.

Unfortunately, I think I have pounded my feet to death the last month or so in those old shoes. I figure it may take at least that long for them to stop hurting with the new shoes. I also started some foot and ankle stretches last night. That's probably something I should have been doing a long time ago, too.

On the bright side, the new shoes didn't cause any new pain, so I figure that's a plus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And into the trash they went

OK. The shoes had to go. Considering I only spent $13.00 on them, they lasted a long time. I think I should have gotten rid of them a couple months ago, however.

I'm planning on spending good money on a new pair next week. In the meantime, my running shoes are doubling as my work shoes. And since I spend a lot of time running at work, it's fitting.


We have a new lady who can no longer speak, but cries out a lot. I'm hoping this will stop once she gets used to her new home.

The other day, Mrs. A was interrupted by a howl from Mrs. B.

"I'm glad that's not me," Mrs. A said (who has been known to let out a scream herself, now and again).

(Mm. That might be a "location" joke. But I thought it was hilarious.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Short-handed Shuffle

Oklahoma is one of the states that has a minimum staff requirement for nursing centers. It sounds great until you realize that the staff that they can "count" are not necessarily staff that are working the floor.

We were short again last night. Short by my standards. I would like to see 6 CNA's, 2 CMA's and 3 LPN's. We had 4 CNA's, 2 CMA's, and 2 LPN's. According to the staff requirements, that's enough people to take care of the number of resident's in my facility. The nurses don't work the floor and the CMA's are limited by what they can do between dishing out medication. (Technically, they are not supposed to stop their med passes to help out on the floor, but they never get through a med pass without taking someone to the bathroom or helping someone to bed or something.)

I understand that I should be thankful that the state has minimum staff requirements because it's likely that we wouldn't have had even that many if they didn't. (I work for a "for profit" nursing center.) But we would have been more effective if we'd had more help. Minimum staff just means the resident's are getting the minimum amount of care. In some cases, barely that.

I've been trying to think of a solution. I'm sure that if someone asked the Administrator, she'd say that her nurse's and CMA's help out on the floor. This is not usually the case and when they do, the help is limited as they have to get their work done too. Maybe the state needs to require a certain number of staff who are specifically dedicated to working the floor, regardless of their title. That way, a nurse could stand in for a CNA only if she was not also required to perform LPN duties.

In the meantime, I use my feet as a barometer. If they really hurt at the end of the night, we didn't have enough help. They were still tender this morning. (Yes, I also need new shoes, but that's another post for another day.)