Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tales from work!

Things at my work continue to be hectic.  We have a chronic shortage of nurses, and I hear from many others in the medical field that they are dealing with the same thing.  It seems that when it can't get worse, it does.  In the last month, we had a nurse fall and break her leg badly and she is now in our rehab unit.  Another is leaving to get married and move to Ireland, one has to have back surgery, and another suddenly got 2 small children added to her family when she thought she was done with those days, so now can only work occasionally.  It can be very draining, but then there are things that are so rewarding, there are fun times and the days that remind you of why you do what you do.
I thought I would share a few bright spots and funny stories that brought me joy this week.

I always clean my desk off before going home, but when I have a day off  I usually come back to find numerous notes and requests. This week someone left me this cheery little "welcome back" note, along with the other papers.   :)

Working with older people with dementia is a lot like working with kids.  They get into squabbles, go places they aren't supposed to, and say what they are thinking.  You can't take yourself too seriously or you will be in trouble!

This week we had two ladies wheeling down the hall. Suddenly one started yelling at the other one.  What was the problem?  "She was talking too much, and when I put my hand over her mouth to quiet her down, she bit me!"  The one that got bit hardly had a mark to show for it, but it did mean lots of paperwork for us, notification of families and reports.  The biting isn't funny, but the situation that led to it, is.

I was working with the Dr and he asked about the placement of some papers in the chart.  I went to the nurses station and was talking to our Social Worker and said something about the Dr not being able to find something.  We were talking about where would be a better place to put these reports and one of our residents, who is just a character wheeled closer and told her "shut up!"  I asked this lady what was the matter?  She said - "you are trying to help the Dr and this lady isn't listening.  Someone has to stick up for you!"  Good thing someone does, right?

One lady said to another lady - "You look so nice today."  The other one replied "What's the matter with me?  Do I look terrible every other day?"  She was mad and wheeled away.

When I get to work in the morning, I always go to each of our nurses stations to check on anything that may have happened since I left.  One nurses station is in a great room, with lots of tables, and there are always some of our early risers up and drinking coffee.  They tend to be the same few and they like to tease me - and I must admit that I tease them too.  I go around to their tables and chat with them, it's a nice morning routine.  Last week as I was doing this I came to one lady who always has a twinkle in her eye, and usually a smart comeback to anything I say.  So, I said to her "B, what do you have to say this morning?"  Her response - "I sure do love you!"   I gave her a hug and told her I loved her, and that she had left me with nothing to tease her about that morning.

These are all little spots of joy throughout the day, and the reason I love my job!


Arlene @Nanaland said...

I can only imagine the nursing shortage in a senior facility. Iit takes a special person to work with the elderly. I am so glad that you got that hug and words of encouragement.

Linda said...

We have the same shortage in California, in fact, we have 2 travel nurses working with us now. We could work 24/7 if we desired!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for the nurse shortage. I admire you so for the dedication you have to your patients. How wonderful that you can tease with your co-workers, even during these stressful days.

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

Just when you think it cant get any worse, you get a cheerful person come on the scene and make you smile. Dementia is difficult to say the least, but they are in their own world and we just need to accept them as they are now. You have a hard job, and I appreciate you 100%. Smiles help!

Sally said...

You always seem to have such a great disposition; something that I'm sure is difficult to hold on to in your everyday work.

Dementia/Alzheimer's is such a sad and lonely place to be. You know, when Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I didn't believe it. I think the stroke the year before caused his mind to not be able to remember things and he died in 11 months. I'm sure I'm wrong seeing as how I'm not a professional like you, Mari.

Your job is something I would not be able to do, even when I was younger. I have a soft spot for the elderly, always have.

I hope y'all can find more nurses.


Cherdecor said...

I am so sorry that you are still having a shortage of nurses which makes your work even more intense. what a lot of happy things that happen on your time at work. I am sure that that keeps you going. You are a great worker for the job God has called you to do.

Doris said...

My favorite part of my former job was doing activities with our folks with memory loss. Certainly it could be challenging but mostly it was pure joy.
Staff shortages are so draining. My heart aches for you and your facility. May God continue to give you strength to meet the needs of your residents.

Laura said...

Those are all so funny!! I sure do hope things get better soon, we've been saying that for a long time now.

Dianna said...

I'm sorry that I missed this on Sunday. Reading these things that these folks say and do brings back so many memories of when Mother would be in a rehab facility. She said because of her age she could say whatever she was thinking...and she often did. :-) The lady who told you that she loved you brought tears to my eyes. Glad she gave you a good start to your day...and the one who "took up for you" is priceless! My prayers continue.

LL Cool Joe said...

It must be even tougher doing your job if you are understaffed. Your stories made me smile.

Jenny said...

I think you're amazing, and I think your co-workers are too. I know I couldn't do what you do, but I'm so grateful for those who have made it their life's work to comfort and help others in their time of need. I agree with the lady -- I sure do love you. xoxo