I've often mentioned my job; it's a big part of my life since I work full time. I work as a nurse in a skilled nursing facility. We are a small place - only 60 beds. I really like that size. It means that I know every resident quite well, I know the family members and all the staff. We have a lot of long term residents, but also have quite a few people who come for rehabilitation and then go home. Today I'm going to share a few stories, that show why I like my job!
I work with lots of wonderful people! We have a great team, and I appreciate the way we work together and don't feel like we are all separate departments.
Our activity director found this little pill in a doorway and thought she would return it in a fun way. We have a lot of laughter and teasing going on, and we include many of the residents in it. Most of them love it. :)
Just like the general public, we have residents who maintain a good attitude and also those who tend to be a bit cranky and when we get a laugh out of them, it's a big accomplishment. A few weeks ago, one of our ladies was sitting near the nurses station looking rather angry. I asked if she was ok and said something about her not looking very happy. Her response? "I'm always happy, I just don't often choose to show it!" She did crack a little smile when she said that, and it's true - she rarely shows it.
We have another lady who seems to have decided that she would rather go without clothes. We have to keep a close watch on her, because it would be a bit shocking for a visitor to walk in and see her sitting in the front lounge with nothing on her top half!
This past week we had a 3-11 nurse who needed a few days off for a family members surgery, so I went back to work in the evening and did half of her shift, from 7-11. One of our men who has dementia was restless and didn't want to go to bed, so I had him sit at the nurses station with me while I did some charting. He is 97 years old and is a WWII vet. On this night he was reliving those years. He told me about getting the letter telling him to report. He then trained at Fort Custer and then went out west. While there he bought an old Model A for $89.50, fixed it up and drove it around. When he shipped out, he sold it for $100. He spent time in London, camped near the Eiffel tower, was in Germany and while in Italy, he heard that Hitler was dead. I love hearing these memories!
There are sad times too. I've been present at many deaths. Deaths in our facility are often a time of mixed emotions. It's always hard to lose a loved one, but when they are Christians who are elderly and have health issues, it's a blessing to know they are no longer struggling and are with the Lord. Recently I was with a man and his daughter as he passed. She was holding his hand and telling him "It's ok Dad. We'll take care of mom. You can go home". I was holding his other hand and we both had tears running down our faces. It was sad, but such a blessing to know he had accepted Christ in his youth and now he would no longer struggle with Alzheimer's and other health issues. It's a sacred time, and a privilege to be allowed to be present.
Yes - there are tears, stress and frustration - but there is also laughter, fun and joy!