Friday, April 29, 2011

Drawing the line

Duty comes first. It is my duty to show up for work when I'm scheduled and to give 100% of what I have to give that day. Sometimes my 100% varies, but I show up and try to do my best. I don't think I was always wired this way, but I have been for the last ten years or so. I acknowledge that it makes me intolerant of people who I perceive do not operate this way. I also acknowledge that I should strive to be more kind and understanding when my co-workers disappoint me.

However, I draw the line at covering for them.

I'm not saying that I have never worked an extra shift on short notice, but I avoid it like the Plague. My reasoning is this: I work my schedule. I avoid calling in unless it is impossible for me to go to work. I have, more than once, called work and had them send someone to pick me up because my car has broken down. I work when I'm under the weather and injured. While I don't really expect everyone to be exactly like me, I don't expect them to call in more than ten times a year (multi-day illnesses count as one in my mind), either.

Once you say "yes", the powers that be start calling you to come in all the time. You become the "go-to girl". Pretty soon you can't count on getting a day off, ever. I don't know if this is true of every facility, but that's how it works at my workplace.

I'm not interested. I don't care if it means overtime pay. If I start doing this, I'm going to wear out and then I'm going to be the one calling in sick or injured. I'd rather be the girl that they can rely on to be in when scheduled. I draw the line at trying to be SuperAide.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rumors abound.

I'm hearing rumors about a not-for-profit nursing center opening up in town. I'm not sure where we're going to find residents to fill it up since we can't even fill up the two we have in town now. But both of the ones in town are for-profit, so maybe this will attract more people.

Anyway, I'm planning on jumping ship if they do open. And, yes, I'll take a cut in pay to do it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slightly OT: We're all going to die.

Hopefully, not today, but eventually, we're all going to die. It's the one thing you can't escape. You can even get out of paying taxes if you really try, but death? Sorry, you don't have a choice.

So, if you're wondering what brought on this spate of vitriol, here's the story.

Grete Waitz passed away. She won nine New York City Marathons. She had been battling cancer for the last six years and she died on Tuesday. I saw the news on this morning. There were two comments, both expressing amazement that someone that young could have died. They expressed their condolences to her family and then each made a comment to the effect of, "Wow, if an athlete can die so young, why bother trying to be healthy?"


Quality of life is greater than Quantity of life. Sure, you can live to be 100, but if you struggle and suffer through the last 50 years, is that really what you want? Frankly, you can have 40 of those years if the rest of my life is relatively free from pain and disease.

Yes, I know, that's just my opinion. But after working in the Nursing Center for the last three years, I feel pretty qualified to offer it up for scrutiny. I've had enough people tell me that they wished they were dead to believe them.

I didn't know Grete Waitz. I've never even read an interview with her. But I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't say that she wished she had never started running. I imagine that she regrets that she didn't get to run more.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing scenes and nightmares...

... and everything in between.
When I came on shift the other day, I heard singing. This isn't unusual. We have our fair share of volunteers who come in to entertain the residents. What was unusual was that this was a private show.
Mrs. A was laying in bed, hands raised and waving, as one of her male family members was singing a rollicking spiritual while dancing and playing the ukulele. It was the most awesome thing I have ever witnessed. There is a special place on the other side for this guy.
We had CPR class the other day. Mr. B was wheeling around in his own little world and, since the meeting hadn't started yet, we were letting him.
The next thing I heard was, "Hey! Mr. B 'jacked the mannequin!" and turned to see him wheeling out of the dining room with it on his lap.
I went into Mrs. C's room to administer her bedtime meds. While I did this, Mrs. D sat up and started getting out of bed.
"What time is it?", Mrs. D asked.
"Eight o'clock at night," I answered.
"At night?" Mrs. D laughed.
"Yes. Did you think it was morning?
"I was dreaming that we were voting on whether or not to quit that war over there. And then I dreamt that I was elected president. I guess that's what woke me up," she said, still laughing.
"Well, I don't blame you. That would wake me up, too."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Compassion Fatigue?

Mrs. A can no longer speak. She still manages to make a lot of noise. Yesterday, she was sitting by the nurses station, letting us all know she was there.

Mrs. B was sitting in her wheelchair several chair-spaces away. Every time Mrs. A would slow down, Mrs. B would chime in. "Can you shut up? I wish you'd shut up," and other variations on that theme.

Yes, it's sad that I find this funny. (We did move Mrs. A to the dining room after that, so Mrs. B wasn't being tortured for hours on end.)