Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I got a raise...

...for being with the home for 90 days. It's a whole dollar. I make 8.82 an hour now. It's a huge pay increase and I can sense a quality of life improvement. It's a pretty sweet deal. However, due to the fact that there are four transport/feeder aides working, there is talk of reducing our hours to 4:30-6:30 during the week and to per-diem on the weekends. This will be a major cut in hours for me.

Yesterday, someone fell. That's the only new thing that happened. I saw her stand up and for whatever reason, her chair alarm didn't go off and she was trying to hold a cup of water and she fell. It's a damn shame. I'm glad she wasn't hurt, though.

Friday, March 4, 2011

So it's been...

... another long time since I've updated. 

Not much has changed aside from numerous residents going home or 'going home.' Two gentlemen that I made a habit of talking to left two days ago and I was not able to say bye due to unforeseen circumstances in my work schedule. I've been feeding more, it's starting to get easier but a lot of the residents refuse to eat. It's frustrating but it's a job. 

A few of the aides are lazy as all hell and attempt to make me do all of their work. I do as much as I am legally allowed to do, nothing more. It's sad that there are some people who take advantage of hard workers. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Time Since

... I last updated. In the time span since then, not much has changed since the last update.

Things have been really slow around the home. Not too much has been happening. I have been feeding a lot more and it gets to be annoying but I deal with it. In my free time at work I talk to one of the residents who happens to be a surgeon. He's really interesting.

I'm not really sure why he's there. He seems to be mentally alert 9/10 times. Sometimes he will ask if he has any surgeries today but most days he'll be completely aware of who everyone is and sometimes be walking around better than most of the nurses and aides.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tomato Juice

The only main gripe I have about today is that after spending a goof twenty minutes trying to please a resident, I end up with tomato juice dropped all over my scrubs and my sneakers. It's annoying, I'm almost positive she dropped it on purpose, too. Oh well. The residents daughter called, she decided to tell her daughter "some idiot nurse boy dropped tomato juice all over me." Then a pause, "no he went to clean it up. He isn't back yet."

I quickly followed up with, "sorry about that. Thankfully the juice didn't get on you, have a nice night," and walked out. On the plus side I did get to learn how to perform an anterior cervical fusion from a former surgeon tonight because he asked what surgery I missed. He probably thought the tomato juice was blood. God I love my job.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Title says it all! Thanks to everyone whose been visiting my blog!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pre-Valentines Day

It's interesting, to say the least. The residents mostly aren't aware that it's valentines day and some aren't too sure of what exactly a valentine is. I was about half the floor's valentine because young guys are in high demand, apparently. The day was uneventful aside from the fact that numerous patients had family there and in general, created a massive headache for the transport staff (aka just me).

I was the only  transport assistant working tonight. It was challenging but I managed. The nurses were also in short staff, too. Only one was in the entire floor. LPNs and CNAs were in short order too. There was a total of 7 people working tonight. Seven people to about 60 people (including the family members). It's a lot to manage.

The nurses were asking me if I was considering becoming a CNA again. I'm thinking about it - the pay is nice.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some (Laundry) Background Infomation

I mentioned that were were a few ways to do laundry in previous posts. I will cover those in this post.

The way I do laundry is take the resident list, divide them by the hall, and sort their clothes in the laundry room and then go out and distribute the laundry down one hall. This is the 'Donna method.' It was pioneered by a transport agent named Donna, who takes upwards of two hours to do one unit's laundry. It is stereotyped by my coworkers to be slow and inefficient as a result. I get an entire unit's laundry done in about 30 minutes using this method.

The way my coworkers do laundry is not as simple or effective. They throw all the clothes on a rack and go down a hall and sort the clothes on the rack and then take them into the rooms. Takes a long time, makes you look like an idiot standing in the middle of the hall, and blocks the hall for others to use. It takes three of them about an hour to do one unit's laundry.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Singing...

Oh the joys of singing. It's wonderful expression, singing. Except when a centuarian is singing songs that serve no other purpose than to annoy the staff into giving in to her demands. She does it quite well -- all the other residents laugh because they can tell we're frustrated but we, after a while, find it hilarious. It makes me laugh to no end when I walk over to the other unit and hear her singing.

All of the transport staff was there tonight -- what a joy. We all went our separate ways but would occasionally meet in the pantries for food. Our director of nursing almost walked in on us eating. That would have been badly.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interesting Night...

My night started off with doing laundry. All four of the transport aides were working -- what a fun night! I challenged one of the other aides to see who could get done with laundry faster. It's sort of a running joke between all of us. There is two methods for sorting laundry (more on this later).

Anyways, dinner time comes and I'm working in Dining Room A. I got people their coffee, I  got people their food. I got a patient a vodka tonic because she asked for it - it's all merry.  I was basically wandering around and ended up sitting down with a lonely resident and talked to him. I do that every day, though. We get along quite well. He asks me questions about being a student and I answer, and then we talk about different thigns that cross our minds.

I learned that we share tastes in music today. We discussed "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel at great length today - some interesting perspectives were gained.

Then it was time for bingo. It's always hell getting people gathered for bingo and even more hell to keep them together. The dialogue between patients is hilarious. The activity coordinates are so much fun to be with. She makes everything a fun activity.

Tonight's Plan

I was just informed by a co-worker that I'm going to be on feeder duty all tonight. This should be a fun night. Check back in later tonight for post-shift posting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Day Back

Today was my first day back in four days.  A lot has changed, there were several new residents admitted and a few discharged. I was not lost, as I predicted I would be. In fact, many of the residents missed me and were wondering where I went off to. There was nothing really out of the ordinary today. Except for the fact that I took a patient back to her room to find out that it was her last night there. I sat with her and talked for a while -- it was pretty awesome and put some serious perspective in my life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Deaths In The Home

So death in a nursing home. Pretty expecting, yeah? It's a fact of life, dying. We're all going to die. Nursing homes deal with the last phase of people's lives. In my time at the home, we've had two people die. None of them I was very close with. There was a death last night, anyways. I'm unsure of how the rest of the residents will react - they usually get cranky, for lack of a better descriptor.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Off Time

I love working at the home. It's interesting, fills my time up quite nicely. I'm on a four-day weekend and I'm terribly bored. The last time I had a weekend off, I came back and placed a few residents in different dining rooms.

At the home, we have two wings with two dining rooms. One is for those that can feed themselves and the other is for those who can't. It's confusing to tell who sits in which dining room. Often, the patients in the larger more cumbersome chairs cannot feed themselves.

I just hope that when I return to work on Wednesday that I don't mix people up.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some (Co-Workers) Background Infomation

As with anything, co-workers are the devil. They're always scheming and they're always accusing you of slacking off and in general being a horses ass. The co-workers in my department (transport) are all very near me in age (+/- 3 years) and have the attitude that they can slack off and the RNs, LPNs, and nurses aides will pick up the rest. They annoy me to no end.

They take 30+ minutes to distribute the laundry, they complain at me whenever I'm sitting around yet hide in empty patients rooms and sit there and play with their cell phones, they sit around at dinner and act like it's a huge inconvience to get someone coffee. 

The nurses are all okay though. They work hard. They do the best that they can for these people. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some (Money) Background Information

I've been working for the home for about a month now. The hours are ridiculous and inconvenient but the pay is nice. For a frame of reference, my base pay was 7.66/hr since I started Dec 30 2010. The first paycheck was less than impressive - just a little over a hundred dollars. However to the joy of the entire facility, a two percent raise was approved by human resources and the two percent reduction to social security taxes took effect 1-1-2011. This worked out to roughly a four percent raise! My pay was now 7.82/hr. Quite a lot of money for a new hire for part time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The First Day

Going back about a month, one would find a terrified me trying to figure out how to enter the premises of the home that I am employed in. I was told to arrive at 3:45PM for orientation that I would later find out consisted of "here's the code to get in, my shift's over -- good luck!"

I entered the building from the rear, hidden, very well protected employee entrance. It was hard to see it from where I parked. I was told, "it has a green awning covering it." Thinking that it would be easy enough to find a green awning on a beige building I hastily agreed to meet the nursing secretary on the floor so she wouldn't have to travel far. Long story short, she ended up coming all the way outside and swiping my card for me and then dropping me off.

Patient interaction was kept to a minimum. I did not have much to say nor did I have anyone to say anything to. My job duties are to "transport the residents to and from various venues in the facility, assist the nurses aides in feeding the residents, and other duties as assigned." Easy enough, yeah? Yeah. It was easy enough on paper. Pushing people around all day is taxing -- especially uncooperative ones.

I did not do any transporting my first day. I didn't know anyone's name and I couldn't figure out where anyone sat in the dining room for dinner. So, the charge nurse found some humor in mine and a residents similar situation. Her words still ring in my mind, "hey, you're both new. How about you push him around and you discover the place together."

And so push the resident around I did. All around, I was greeted by now-familiar faces saying "oh, you're the new guys. Hey, good luck with him." I was and still am unsure if they were wishing me good luck with the resident or the resident good luck with me. We both found humor in this and laughed. I learned that the man's name was H. H quickly became one of my favorite residents. I would not meet my favorite resident until later that night.

After pushing H around for two and a half hours and having various bouts with wedgies, shoes falling off, legs becoming numb, needing to use the bathroom, adjusting pants, and snapping in and our of lucidity, H's private aide arrived. The aide, whose name I never learned, treated me kindly and told me that I did a good job from what she could tell. The day was taxing, physically demanding, and mentally exhausting. I learned a lot about myself that day, additionally.

Here's the part where I met N. N is absolutely adorable - but she is absolutely terrified of everything at the same time. I met her when she was propelling herself backwards away from a hispanic aide because she thought that the aide was going to take her to the police. Why exactly? I am not sure. I have several theories as to why she thinks the police, the Governor, and in one incident the board of trustees are after her but that is for another time. 

I had to reassure N that the police were not after her and that she was safe. She refused to believe me. I don't blame her -- I was terrified too. I told her that I would go with her and that nothing was going to happen to her. N believed me then, all the while the hispanic police were laughing hysterically around a corner. It was then when I realized that working in a nursing home required a sense of humor - otherwise it's too depressing.