Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whatever It Takes

(I found this in a pile of my writing.  If I posted this already, just disregard it.  I couldn't find it.)

Sometimes in the interest of keeping my residents happy, I do things that make zero sense to anyone but the resident.


Mrs. A rolled up to me in her wheelchair.
"Let me sign that myself," she said.
"Sign what, Mrs. A?" I asked.
"Sign that paper," she said, like I had any idea what she was talking about.
So, I pulled out a Post-It Note, put it on my clipboard, handed her a pen, and held the board so she could sign it.
"Well, that looks like crap," she said as she returned the pen to me.
"No.  I can read it.  That's all that matters," I told her.
"That's all that matters," she repeated as she rolled away.


"What can I do for you, Mrs. B?" I asked as I entered her room.
"I want to go to bed," she said.
"It's about supper time. How about we wait until after you eat?" I leaned over her chair and turned off the call light.
"No.  I want to go to bed now."
"Alright," I said and we got started.
By the time she was done washing up, changing into her pajamas, and brushing her dentures, she said, "I'm hungry."
I snorted.  I couldn't help it.  "Well, how do you feel about going to supper in your bathrobe?" I asked and held her teeth out to her.
She laughed.  "Won't be the worst thing they've seen down there.  Remember the time Mr. C took off his pants?"


"Here," Mrs. D said, handing me her slipper.
"Want me to put this on for you?" I asked, kneeling down.
"No.  It's for you," she said.
"But, it's your slipper."
"You keep it," she said.
"OK.  Thank you," I answered, smiling and walked to the clean linen room with her shoe.
Twenty minutes later I returned it to her room.


Dr. El said...

Great stories, K. Tree. Well handled. They remind me of this: If I have residents who like to refuse our weekly sessions (generally so they feel more in control), I try not to schedule them on a Friday. Instead, I stop by to see them early in the week, giving them time to refuse me once one or twice, and by Friday we can have our session. (It works for med passes and showers too, seeing them early in the rounds, so that there's time to return after they refuse the first visit.)

C said...

Great idea, Dr. El. That's one thing I like about inpatient work. I can't do this with my outpatients...

Linda said...

Congratulations on The Versatile Blogger Award! I just found your site though "Hold My Hand" and am busy reading back. I love how you write and having been a Social Worker at several nursing homes in the past your posts touch a chord. I love your approach to the individuals you work with.

LindaGM, Spinning First

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Those stories are precious! You're such a great CNA.

By the way, there's an award for you on my blog.


Cloudia said...

You are wise; a blessing to those lucky resident! God Bless you

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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K. Tree said...

Thanks a whole lot everyone for coming to visit. And thanks to Doris for the award.