How Do I Get Through This? Or Should I Quit? - page 2
Hey guys, I have been reading through these CNA threads trying to find some inspiration about how I feel. I have a clinical class in about an hour and I don't want to go. See, it's not the urine or... Read More
Dec 9, '07I just finished my CNA training and the LTC was hard for me too. If this is really what you want to do then keep going, it does get easier. People have so many chapters in their lives at this point that I really started to see it as a privilege to get to care for them. I got to make a positive difference at this profound time of life. It is so amazing that you could have the chance to give someone so much quality care and love during this last "chapter". I think this experience will help no matter what field of nursing you go into. If you think this is not for you, that's ok. If you still want to continue on, then do the best job you can for your patients and know that your care has the power to truly make their lives brighter. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
Dec 9, '07I think when you're in clinicals you really don't see the true LTC, you're just an outsider looking in on oddly organized chaos. During my clinics I was horrified too. I was trying so hard to keep up and do the work that I wasn't able to look at the residents as people. After my training I ended up working in an Assisted Living on their higher care units (primarily dementia). The first few weeks again were kind of like the nursing home where I was task oriented. Once I started to become comfortable with the job I was able to become more people oriented and adopt many new Grandparents.
The two most important events in a person's life are birth and death. It is an amazing experience to help someone die comfortably and with dignity. I recently started working at a hospital and every code we have makes my heart drop. The thought of someone dying in strange surroundings with strangers breaking their ribs and sticking tubes in them horrifies me.
There is no reason you can't become somewhat attached to your residents and you can't go to work and have fun with them. As I said when I worked in Assisted Living I had many adopted Grandparents. We shared hugs, laughs, and tears. Yes, it's sad when someone dies and tears are okay. I went to the visitation for a resident I was really attached too. I got out to the car and bawled my eyes out the entire way home. I remember telling my step-dad who was driving. "He look good, he's at peace, I'm happy for him. He was suffering at the end, but now he's free and happy, but I'm going to miss him."
I honestly thought that I would never end up in long term care. I thought old people were disgusting and depressing. I now see myself getting a couple years of hospital experience as an RN and then finding myself a nice dementia unit to call home.
If you get the chance to get to know your residents on clinicals do it! There is nothing better then sitting down and talking to a resident. If you're uncomfortable just talking grab a bottle of lotion and give a nice hand massage while you're at it.
Dec 9, '07I have a bit of advice, although I don't want to start a religious battle or anything-
when I first started I felt the same, 3 people died the first week I worked at my first job! I was so broken up about it, it just brought back everyone that has passed away in my own life.
But I told myself that my job was not just changing linens and feeding residents, it's really about making their time left as good as it can be. I made that my goal--even the ones that you know are leaving soon, I don't look at it as a horrible sad event, instead I try to remember that they are still on a journey, be it to Heaven or reincarnation or whatever happens after this life is over I really believe there's more to it and that makes it easier for me to let go.
Dec 10, '07Desert,
You can do it! I never had a mother who worked at nursing home, but my thoughts were along the same lines as yours. I hated going to clinicals for the same reasons you did. It was pretty depressing.
But I knew that I didn't want to work LTC and that my long term goal was to do Critical Care Nursing...so I jumped on a position at a local hospital's med/surg floor. I kept saying the entire course...I don't want to do LTC...I want to be at a hospital.
I now love my job. Occasionally, we will get one or two pt's on hospice who get a UTI or something, you know, comfort care only, who end up dying in the hospital--but it isn't so bad for me. I mean I feel for the family's loss and everything but it is not depressing or whatnot because I know that the majority of my patient's will walk out those doors (and usually come back for something else! lol).
My favorite part about the floor I work on is I am the night CNA for a 3-day thing my hospital has for joint replacements. They go to class for a week before the surgery to learn about what the operation and recovery will be like. Beginning on post-op day 1, I am the FIRST PERSON to get that patient out of bed after having their knee, hip, or shoulder replaced. It's usually not pretty, but then I have those same patients for three days (pretty rare in a hospital) and am the one to ambulate them and see them get better each day until they are ready to be discharged, either to a rehab facility or home for outpatient rehab. They don't want to leave you, and that feels awesome.
I guess what I'm saying is that, yes, there are ways to find the same happiness in LTC. You're the last person to care for those people as they are in the end stages of their life, and they appreciate it. You can feel better knowing the resident is in a better place and the family no longer has to see them like that. Etc., etc. And for some people that works, but for others it doesn't.
It doesn't make you any less of a CNA if you work at a hospital or a LTC facility...for the most part, the nature of the work is still the same.