Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There's No Crying In Baseball

I'm in the process of training a new employee at my job right now, which has been pretty fun & made me look at the everyday grind with fresh eyes.

In Long Term Care, a lot of us have to toughen up in order to do this job. It's verydemanding work for very low pay and often very little appreciation. Working in dementia further adds to this because it's not uncommon to be trying tocare for people who will try their hardest to hurt you while you're helping them. Usually the good outweighs the bad and we retain our compassion and still give hugs and kisses to even those that had tried to hurt us.

Yesterday while training my new mentee, I almost cried out on the floor (ie in public areas not the breakroom) twice.

First was because one of my favorite residents is declining so fast. She has cancer & massive anxiety, and currently has the worst edema I've ever seen. It goes all the way up to her waist and she cannot even get shoes or slippers on anymore. The other night she kept asking me to kill her and swearing at me, which is the polar opposite from her normal personality. I knew she would freak out when we had to shower her, and she did. It's so awful to have a friend hating you screaming at you to kill her. I sent my trainee to take the then-calm resident to go get her hair done in our beauty parlor & I cleaned that shower for a long time so I could calm down. It really breaks my heart.

Then later I got upset for a nearly opposite reason; we had to put to bed a notoriously combative resident who usually leaves me black & blue whenever it's my turn to deal with her. She pinches, punches, kicks, grabs, shoves... you name it. And this is not a little old lady; she's taller than most of us & walks just fine. Right now I have a brace on my arm from straining it by lifting people. So ScaryLady zeroes in on that and grabs me there, trying to shake me by that arm. My poor trainee tries to intervene and ScaryLady digs her nails into my trainee hard enough to break her skin. Charge Nurses insist there is nothing they can do because ScaryLady's Doc refuses to order any effective behavioral meds for her. ScaryLady clearly needs a new Doc but that would require someone in ScaryLady's family to make it happen, which is unlikely at best. So we get beaten up every night and my brand new trainee got hurt. Those were tears of anger.

Sometimes I hate this system and these diseases.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no, sounds like a rough night, hang in there sandc. Maybe next week will be better?