Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still Loving It

I'm finished with my training at the GreatRep, so I've had 2 days to hit the floor in earnest, and I still love it. My coworkers have been amazingly helpful and supportive, letting me know all the little tips to work with the residents' idiosyncracies. And when they got done with their work faster than I did (of course) they came and helped me make beds and get the rooms on my run shipshape. So nice.

Learning everyone's names is coming along pretty well. We have a LOT of Florences and Betty's, so last names are a must, even though we don't refer to them by Mr. or Mrs. (that doesn't work so well with advanced dementia). Thus far, I'll be on day shift for all of November, and this is my first time working that shift. At the other places, I did evenings and nights. Days are so awesome because you're done and home or doing errands by 2pm!

My days at the GreatRep usually go as follows:

5:15 am - wake up, get ready, pack lunch, etc.

5:55 am - arrive to work

6am - get report from the night shift about who had suppositories (top priority on getting to the bathroom, for obvious reasons) and who had a rough night or was changed recently or whatever. Check the schedule to see who I need to shower, who has appointments, etc.

6:15 - start getting my early bird residents up for the day. Some are fairly independent and all I need to do is wake them or lay out clean clothes for them, and they'll do the rest. Some are physically able but not mentally, so I need to cue them for every step, dress them, and brush their teeth for them. Some are physically and mentally unable, and I use a sit-to-stand mechanical lift to get them up and into their wheelchairs. The most difficult are the combative residents who will try to kick, hit, bite, scratch and spit on me while I'm providing care. I dodge like mad, get help as needed, and don't take it personally.

8am - If I did everything as fast as my coworkers, I'd have all my residents up and dressed, and seated at the dining room tables. There are several different runs, and depending on which one I'm assigned, I either serve, clear plates, or feed those who no longer feed themselves.

9:15 - breakfast is mostly finished. Time to get everyone out of the dining room, into easy chairs for activities, to the bathroom as needed. This is usually the best time to give my showers, unless the people were super quick and I got them done before breakfast.

10am - help with either snack or activities, or continue showers and toileting.

11:15 - start getting everyone back into the dining room, which often involves transferring them back into wheelchairs.

12pm - do lunch, doing the same role I did before.

1ish - lunch is over, I get everyone cleaned up and the dining room started (bus most of the tables) then be sure to toilet EVERYONE (in whatever level of help they need). Some will lie down for naps at this point, others will go participate in activities, visit with family members, or just hang out with one another.

1:50 - do a final walk through of all the rooms on my list to be sure the beds are made, the trash is taken out, and the bathrooms are stocked with supplies.

1:55 - do my charting and give report to the oncoming shift

2:07 - walk out the door to go home.


Day shift is probably the most hectic, especially with the 2 meals. But I love that it's busy enough to keep you hopping so it flies by, and then you are DONE while the rest of the world is still at work!

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