Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hanging in there!

Hi friends!  Thought I would update you on life at our skilled care facility during these crazy times.
Thanks to those of you who have e-mailed to check on me, and thanks also to those who are praying for more nurses for us.
The good news is that we have an 11-7 and a 3-11 nurse who have started and are doing well.  We have a few others who are interested, but it's hard to hire right now as no one but staff is allowed in the building.
I've been working a lot!  Like 50-60 hours a week, but I have this weekend off and it's such a blessing.  My position is Unit manager/Infection Prevention Nurse so as you can imagine, the Covid 19 is adding a lot of work.  Thankfully I have an awesome administrator and DON who are doing so much of the needed work.

 Excuse the glare.  This is the sign on our front door at work.  The door is locked and no one can come in.  If family members want to bring something to their loved one, they have to leave it at the door and call, then someone goes out to get it and bring it in.
Anyone coming in has to enter in the back door.  We all have to check our temperature and do a little health assessment, sign in and then sign out.  We had to send someone to the hospital last week and even the ambulance had to enter in the back and be checked before continuing into the building.
All of our residents are supposed to stay in their rooms or be kept 6 feet apart at all times.  This is not easy when some have dementia.  It also makes passing meal trays and feeding much more difficult.  Usually we can have one person feeding 2-3 people and now it's 1:1, so all management now comes to help pass trays and feed, even on weekends.
The state has just changed a rule on that, because previously only licensed staff could feed, but now any employee is allowed, although of course anyone with swallowing difficulties is still fed by a CNA or nurse.
Another thing we have to do is take vitals on every resident and do a mini health assessment every day.
Something I've been doing a lot of is testing every employee on their handwashing technique and then going out on the floor to audit and make sure they are doing it.  It's one of the most important things we can all do to protect ourselves and others.
We are also trying to do different fun things every day to keep our residents happy.  They can't see their families and friends and any group activities or special events are out right now too.
Last week we had mismatched clothes day, root beer floats, donuts and hot chocolate with reading, wacky hair day...   They have been enjoying these things.

Here I am in my office - I'm no good at selfies, but I took this to send to my granddaughters to tell them Grandma had crazy hair day.  When you have short hair there isn't a lot you can do, but I put in two little ponytails!
The funny thing is when I left that day, I saw a wife and son of a resident in the parking lot.  They had come to wave through the window to him.  I was talking to them, and suddenly realized that I had those crazy pony tails in my hair.  I quickly explained that I wasn't trying out a new hairdo.  They thought it was quite funny.
Our facility is actually going to be on the local news on Sunday night when a family is coming to surprise their parents with a window visit, so I'm looking forward to seeing that.
For those of you that are praying, please pray for the health of the staff.  If people can't come to work we will be in trouble and we certainly don't want to pass this to our residents.

On another note, look at the beautiful sky I saw on my way in to work the other morning!
And that night I was reading in the Psalms and came upon these verses - such a comfort.

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me."
Psalm 3:3-5


Mandy said...

Thank you for making sure your residents are well taken care of. I know it has to be exhausting. Praying for all of our healthcare workers.

Terri D said...

God bless all of you nurses, the doctors, the CNAs, the cleaning staff, the kitchen workers... God bless you! I can't see your crazy hair picture... but the tree and sunrise photo is just beautiful. Take care of yourself, Mari!!

Terra said...

It must be exhausting for all the workers at your care home. I am a volunteer visitor to a lady and she is very frustrated being confined to her room. It is hard all around, and of course, no visitors allowed now. I don't see the photo of you!

Kelly-Anne ♥ The Diary of a Country Girl said...

Oh sounds extremely crazy for you right now! Glad to hear you're doing well, though. Hope you get some good rest soon!

Joyful said...

Glad to hear from you Mari. You and all the staff in care homes, hospitals and essential services are doing a fantastic job. I pray the blood of Jesus cover and protect you all. Take care of yourself as best you can too.

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

I pray for all healthcare workers as I know this is a difficult time for all. You are doing such a good job at your work and I respect you tremendously. I cant see the picture of your hairdo but bet it was fun for all. Take care of you along the way.

Linda said...

Aww...your photo isn't coming through...bless you and all that work in the healthcare field.

Dianna said...

I'm so sorry that the picture of you with your two ponytails didn't come through. I would have loved to have seen that! :)

You are in my prayers all the time, sweet friend. We will get through this, but it is health care workers like yourself that we need to uphold in our prayers because of the extra load you are carrying right now.

That sunrise picture is absolutely gorgeous...and the Scripture verses, awesome! God knows exactly what it is that brings us comfort and encourages our hearts. xo

Arlene @Nanaland said...

God Bless you and all those working with these precious elderly patients Mari. You are in the front lines for sure.

Deb said...

Mari - that is a really beautiful picture of the sunrise sky. I am glad you are hanging in there and making the best of things. Prayers for you and all the heroic health care workers in our nation and the world at this time. You are doing all you can to keep your residents healthy and to keep their spirits up as well. You have my admiration. God bless you with peace, health and happiness as you serve others at this very challenging time. Glad bless your family as well.

Debi said...

Bless you for all you are doing. Please stay safe and well.

Annie said...

I am praying for you and the nurses you work with! I know all those families are so grateful for all you are doing to keep their loved ones safe. I pray you are able to get some good rest this weekend!


Vintage Girl 901 said...

I'm gonna go back and read the verse again. I'm so sorry that you're having to work so much. I'm still working too. I have an Easterseals client so I guess you can say I'm still in healthcare and my job is "essential." I love it that your home is finding creative ways to keep the residents happy.

Henny Penny said...

Oh Mari, bless your heart. Thank you for all your hard work. I'm going to read Psalm 3 this morning. Such beautiful words. I love the story of your two little ponytails. That's so cute. Bet you are exhausted after a day's work. Your two sweet granddaughters are growing up so fast. I was just looking at your last post. Both of them are so cute. Will be thinking of you.

Jean said...

Oh Mari, what a huge responsibility!! And so many hours! I'm feeling quite shaken this evening because Anthony just told me about a friend who is his age (previously had a liver transplant). This morning he woke up with a temp of 103 and he died this evening!! No symptoms yesterday! Anthony is begging Dick to stay home from work since he is diabetic. So we shall see.

Hootin' Anni said...

Your bible verses are much needed these days (and promising). Beautiful sky. In fact, glorious! Your days sound like what my daughter & the staff working under her are going thru at the women's safe house.

Sally said...

Oh Mari, I knew you'd been working your 'buns' off but goodness what you guys have to go through each and every day. I'm praying for all of you in those jobs, and the patients also.

You look SO cute with your little pony tails; I bet the grand girls got a big kick seeing that.

Please take care, and know we're thinking of you.


Doris said...

Oh Mari, I'm sure you all are working so hard. Glad the feeding restriction was changed. Long ago I would go in on weekends and help feed then of course it became a no-no. Praying us all though this!

sharon said...

You have been in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for all you and other nurses are doing.

Jenny the Pirate said...

I'm late to the party as usual but I LOVE your little ponytails! Haahahaa! Gorgeous sky picture too. Wow. You are in my prayers, my friend. I know you'll be glad for 40-hour work weeks when they come around again. xoxo

Saija said...

**Heart** … you and all the care givers are doing GREAT!!! LORD bless you much!

Paula Alexandra Santos said...

I'm praying for you and for all of those that are risking their lives, to keep others safe.
My father-in-law runs a nursing home and he has to follow all these rules to, so that the residents and the staff, can be safe.
Oh and by the way, those ponytails are very cute!
God bless you and be safe!

carrie@northwoods scrapbook said...

Hello dearest Mari! You fierce nursing warrior you!! The world is incredibly blessed to have someone like you helping to care for their loved ones. Sending you the biggest hugs of support! And a virtual shoulder massage. And I hope you get a ginormous bonus when this is all done. 😉 Also sending prayers for your health and safety and your family too. God bless! 😘 🙏 💜

Beth said...

It's good to catch up with you after 2 years away from blogging. I have put a post out there now. I wish you the best during this difficult time esp. with your overtime hours.

Susan said...

Thank you for caring for your residents. I am sure you are blessed! Nice to meet you!

Laurel Wood said...

God bless you and all of those caring for those with special needs. Such a difficult and stressful time in our history. Your pig tails brought a smile to my face. xoMildred