Thursday, February 24, 2011

Back in the day.

Sometimes I wonder what my ladies and gents were like before they came to the nursing center. I can read their charts to find out their medical history and what they did for a living before they got hurt, sick or just wanted to retire. But their charts don't tell me what their favorite cookie is or who they looked up to as a kid or whether they prefer showers or baths.

Once in a while I'll get a little glimpse of who they were. Mrs. A told me one day that she loves toast with jelly dipped in her coffee. I do, too. Mr. B and I talk about playing poker and smoking marijuana. (I play poker, but marijuana is not on my list of vices, so I mostly listen when he talks.) Mrs. C used to be a CNA and, even though she can't tell me about it, I'll bet she was one of those who could move a resident no matter how heavy they were. Mrs. D and I talk about Boxers because she used to have two that would walk with her around her property and she says she was never worried about meeting up with a varmint while they were beside her.

It's easy to forget that these folks had lives just like we do before they became too disabled to care for themselves. They had their share of tears and laughter, joys and regrets. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we get to hear about some of them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In the rush...

... to get everything done, I sometimes forget why I like my job.

Last night I was pushing pills. I had a new resident to introduce myself to, which I did, medicated her and went on. Because that's what I do and what I HAVE to do to get everyone their "supper" pills before I have to start passing their "bedtime" pills.

New resident doesn't have any bedtime pills, so I don't go visit her and complete my med pass, finishing up just before nine pm.

When I'm done passing meds, I take a break. Sometimes, like last night, it's the first break I get. (Yeah, yeah, don't talk to me about "two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch". If that happens for you everyday at your facility, I'm happy for you. I get that once a week for sure, more if I'm lucky. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. Frankly, I do better on fewer breaks.) About five minutes in, I get a request for prn medication from the new resident, so I trot down the hall, to fix her and then try to scoot back to break.

She called after me, asking for a snack. I told her what we had, got her order and trotted back with juice and one of every cookie/cracker we had because the "good" cookies that the kitchen bakes were all gone.

While I'm getting ready to leave, she starts giving me her health history for the last six months. So, I listen, still standing. (If I knew her better, I would have sat down, but I don't know how she feels about staff in her room yet.) We chat about physical therapy and about how they will get her back on her feet and I suddenly remember that the reason I like my job is because something as simple as giving a person an ear to bend can make all the difference in their world.

My goal today is to remember this more than one time before 9:30 pm.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Off Topic: Dogs

I can't remember when I last wrote about anything other than the nursing center...

Cliff, our terrier mix, is more intelligent than 50% of the people I know. The prize spot in the house to lay is the love seat. Only two dogs, or one human and one dog fit on it at a time. If Cliff is the "odd dog out", he will run to the lanai door, barking like every bad person in a six mile radius has converged on our backyard. When the other dogs follow him, he turns around, runs back, and lays down on the love seat.

I wonder if Jubie and Trucci will ever catch on.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And so the pendulum swings.

We seemed to be in the business of losing employees there for a while. Now, suddenly, we've got a bunch of former employees coming back. Good ones, to boot.

Have I ever mentioned how much smoother things go with the right group of employees? Even on nights when we're short-handed, it's so much easier when everyone can work together. Then we don't end up with a time where everyone is stubbornly on break at the same time or one hall gets all the attention while the other hall's residents are left in the lurch.

Last night was one of those nights. Even though we had an employee leave early, we still were able to take care of everyone with hardly a glitch. (Well, except for the woman who was trying to hit people with her doll. But that's another story for another day.)


Quote of the day:

"What are you up to, Mr. A?" the CNA asked.

"Oh, just waitin' for my celly."

(I know. Another prison reference. I still found it hilarious.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm sick...

... so if I'm repeating myself, blame it on my cough-rattled, mucus-filled brain.


One day while the ladies were doing arts and crafts, Mrs. A asked Mrs. B to pass her a blue dot.

Mrs. B handed her a red star.

"No. I asked you for the blue dot," Mrs. A said.

Mrs. B cocked her head and for a moment, handed her the red star and started singing, "The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be..." and was quickly joined by the rest of the table before they broke down into giggles.


Now, ask me if I'm going to work today. Yes, I am. My temperature is not over 100, I am not vomiting and I do not have uncontrollable diarrhea. I'm donning sinus pills and Mucinex as my battle armor and heading into the fray.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Been in a work funk.

Work's been kinda rough lately. Rather than getting on here and complaining, I thought I'd take a break. Between the weather, sick residents, and sick staff, I've been up to my eyeballs in frustration. I'm taking a couple more days to straighten my soul out, then I'll be back. Some funny stuff has actually happened amongst all the muck.