Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homeostasis interruptus

I don't know if it's this way at every job, since being a nursing assistant is the only one I've had in the last few years that had coworkers. But it seems like the facilities I've worked at have little internal cycles; everything is calm and good, staffing is stable, we rarely work short. Then, for whatever reason, there's a period of upheaval, which usually SUCKS because it means we're frequently understaffed.

That's what's going on at my job right now. A few people have quit without notice in the last month (bizarre) and it affects all of us. Even though there are 3 shifts per day, it really is a 24-hour shift. So when I show up on evening shift, and one of my coworkers has already been there for hours to help out day shift who were short-staffed, it throws off our balance. Or when we arrive and get report that consists of "we were understaffed, so here are the things we didn't get done" followed by a long list of things we must catch up on immediately, it makes a difficult day. And I'm sure it's the same for the night shift as well.

Add to that the mixed blessing of training another new employee tonight (this is the 3rd new girl I've trained, but I think she'll stick, she's already been a CNA for 6 years) and you have a recipe for a really stressful evening. It's great having another set of hands to help get things done when you're training, but it can slow you down because you must verbalize what you're doing and slow down enough to explain and demonstrate everything. There's less of that with someone who's already experienced in the field but you still have to explain the residents' quirks and the facility policies and procedures.


Why can't people just stay at their jobs, or at least give 2 weeks notice if they won't??

Then again, you have a high-stress, high-difficulty job which pays little and requires little education. That sounds like a recipe for a lot of turnover, doesn't it?

I just have to hold on until the new folks are trained and settled in.

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