The funny thing about working as a med aide at my facility is that I do a lot more "side work" (as it used to be called when I worked at Denny's back in the day) than I ever anticipated. My primary job is, and always will be, to complete my 3 med passes per day. But in addition to that, I basically fill in any gaps that need filling. I take phone calls from irritated family members who for whatever reason would rather talk to me than the nurse. I handle all the non-prescription type treatments that need to be done in a day (anti-itch lotion on one lady, mouthwash at a certain time of day for another, etc.). When the caregivers can't get a resident to do something, they ask me to do it. When the nurse can't get a resident to take their meds, they have me try it. And when, like today, someone calls out and we're understaffed, I run around like mad trying to get as much done as possible while still medicating all my old folks.
My notes to myself, on days like today, probably look like I'm delusional.
"Violet can't figure out chair - get urine?" then "UA neg. watch for more hallucinations. No bears this time."
"Confiscated several forks from Sally's pocket. ↑ Aggressive?"
"Spoke with Mildred's granddaughter via telephone from 0930-0950. Same old crap."
"Velma requests I cancel her flight to Copenhagen. Give her paper and pen for anxiety?"
"Beth finished her antibiotics. No luck. Still a mess! Is it her birthday?"
Luckily for me I don't have to file these notes. I distill them into something coherent and get others to follow up on what I actually meant by all that.
Today my main "side work" was to do something we call 'out to lunch bunch' which I think is pretty ironic given that it's a dementia facility. They're ALL out to lunch, permanently, right?
But anyway, now that it's nice weather out, we take a small group (who're able to and will enjoy it) out to the courtyard for lunch every day. Since the rest of the staff is serving/feeding/cueing in the main dining rooms, what the med aid does is start noon pass a little early, then go outside with a cart of food and beverages and serve the meal to the lucky bunch.
It's actually really pleasant, and a lot of the residents do really well out there; they like being outdoors, it's quieter, a smaller group, and I have time to really sit and talk with them as I help them eat their meals. Pretty sweet. The cutest part is that, in addition to sunscreen, we've got all these big floppy sun hats with fake flowers on them (the population is about 97% female at my facility) to also help protect them from the sun. Yesterday one of the ladies didn't want to wear her hat, but she really, really wanted me to. So I did. And when I popped inside to pick up some more milk, my coworkers threatened to take my picture in the hat and post it all around the facility. And the internet. And in our facility newsletter. So I wore one again today, just to teach them all what cool really is.
It's pretty much this:
There. Now you know what cool is, too.