Nursing homes

  1. Maybe some of you can give me shoulder...I really need one right now. I will begin nursing school in Jan, so I took a job in the hospital laboratory. My duties include traveling to nursing homes to draw blood. I am inexperienced so I am being trained to draw, and I have done two successful draws so far. My trainer is the pits! I am just glad to be a visual learner...and a gentle, caring person.
    I am not sure about how long I can keep this job. It is so terribly depressing. When I walk into the homes...my body shakes from so many mixed emotions. Fear, sadness, warmth...
    I am dealing with learning to draw, which is difficult in old folks anyway...and I am dealing with my surroundings. Many are just crumpled in bed waiting to die and others sit in a medical comatose. Some make me happy...they sing songs of Jesus. Others are combative and curse like heck. I am always on guard. I refuse to bow my head when drawing...I am scared of head bunt or a right upper cut. And I am holding a needle!
    But what hurts are the portraits beside their bed. Some fairly recent. They portray them standing tall...which is strange when you see them lying small and contorted. And they tell you all about their children with pride!The same children that admitted them there. I just can't help wondering "how did you get here? WHO put you in a place like this? Did you ever think that you would be here?" The homes are not clean and the CNA's are "tired" in my area sorry cna's. I know it is a tough job but what gives? I have patients that are left with dentures to sleep in! (I have 5am draws).
    They beg for me to take them...even offer me money...some follow me to the door with purse in hand! Oh it is so sad.
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Rena RN 2003
    many call these people "the forgotten generation." and at times, it can be very depressing. i'm a cna in a ltc facility so i've seen the picture from both angles.

    some people don't want to be there. but sometimes because they have no family to care for them, being at home isn't a safe option. other people has family but that family must work in order to provide a life for themselves. then there are the times that the care may be more extensive than what it appears and the family member just can't do it.

    and then i've seen the people that are grateful to be living in a ltc facility. they feel safe. they are warm. they are clean. they are thankful for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day that otherwise they may not have gotten.

    i've worked all shifts at my facility and the only explanation i can give for the dentures in at 5 a.m. is that we have a certain # of residents that are basically dressed and ready for the day before dayshift comes on. since day shift deals with meals etc. we get a small number of residents ready but leave them in bed to sleep until a more humane time to get up. of course, i don't know what facility you are referring too and if that is the policy there.

    chin up, you are obviously a caring person. just keep these things in mind throughout your student career and learn the type of person you want to be and the kind of care you wish to deliver to your patients/residents. you'll do fine.
  4. by   shabookitty
    Thanks (((Rena)))
    Today is a new day. I was feeling pretty down yesterday. I go to so many homes in the surrounding counties...and there are too few of the good ones...I don't just mean in terms of care...the structures are old with blue or green drab cinderblock. And yes, I agree that some have no choice...whether family is deceased or spouse is incapable. But seeing those "recent" photos on wall just disappoint me when they portray nice young grandchildren...or beautiful picture of daughter or son marrying...
    It just gets me thinking about this whole cycle of life thing ya know. And CNA's do work hard...don't get me wrong...I had two super nice CNA assist me this morning...There are just good homes and bad homes I guess (in my area anyways). I appreciate your support...I honestly don't know how you do it everyday...I have a new respect for retirement homes and the people that work in them. You have a heart of gold.
  5. by   joyflnoyz
    I'm a LPN currently working in a LTC setting..3-11:30.
    As far as dentures being removed, we have several on our unit who REFUSE to let us remove them at times. I mean a clamp-the-jaw-so blinkin-type-in-danger-of-losing-a-finger-if-you-try type refusal. For the most part, my CENAs are excellent.
    As Rena said night shift gets some of the residents up and dressed for the day as well. Just not enough time for day shift to do it all before breakfast arrives.
    I LOVE learning about my resident's lives before LTC. I've cared for a formeer professor of textiles; one who spoke 7 languages; I currently am caring for a man who has a passion for dancing..at one point he was a part of 3 Senior dance groups. Even now when he hears music, he may shuffleover to a nurse and dance..very elegant.

    THAT'S what I lvoe about LTC
  6. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by Rena RN 2003
    many call these people "the forgotten generation." and at times, it can be very depressing.
    that is so true Rena
  7. by   adrienurse
    It's all in how you choose to look at the situation. For some they see that waiting room for death, the forgotten, the unspeakable. I see people reaching out for love, who are aching to interact and would love so much to recaive a kind word and be touched by someone - even if that someone is going to be collecting their blood. They need to have validation that they are people and that they are loved and cared for.
  8. by   Cubby
    I for one am glad to be there to take care of these wonderous, perplexing, sad, scary people. It is not for me to judge how or why these geriatrics come to my facility, it is my job to help them die with dignity. And die they must because it is the sentence at birth!
  9. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by shabookitty
    ...I honestly don't know how you do it everyday...I have a new respect for retirement homes and the people that work in them.

    agree totally, very well said shabookitty
    I don't know how they do it either, it's amazing:angel2:
  10. by   Rena RN 2003
    and some of the things you can learn from the older generation! it's truly amazing to listen to their life stories. to see them smile when someone is truly interested in their memories.

close