posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 09:12 PM
Well since this story has shifted to the idea that nursing home workers are low caliber people and being that I used to work in a nursing home let me
tell you all a few things on behalf of some of these so called low caliber people. They are hugely underpaid, most make minimum wage and have
training to even qualify for the job. There are usually no insurance or benefits for the workers, they are expected to come into work on their days
off if someone calls in sick. Many of them are so overworked it ain't funny. Let me tell You what a typical days for me was like,
7am-8:30 am, Get 14 residents up, of those (14) 13 were total care, that meant they had to be washed, I always washed their faces, hands and bottoms,
I then diapered them, then dressed them and put them in their wheel chairs, literally I mean pick them up physically, comb and fix their hair, this
was not a slap together operation these people were old they did not feel like being jerked up, so I tried to move quickly but gently with them.
Then take them to the dining room, for the ones the drs. have ordered restraining, tie them in their chairs to keep the ones that might slide out
from falling or the ones that have no idea what is going on from wandering off or the one who might get up and try to walk even though they are
physically are incapable and will fall and hurt themselves.
Then make their soiled and wet beds with clean linens with mitered corners. All of this in 1.5 hrs and then help any other aid who needed it. I had
two double amputees and three patients over 250 lbs. to lift in my section. Most of the time I ended up doing it by myself.
Then hand them their plates thats over 100 people to take care of with a staff of 5 aides and one nurse. Now feed the blind ones the ones who have
strokes or are paralyzed and can't feed themselves, keep track of all the ones who have altzheimers and might wonder away. Make sure everyone eats
and drinks. wash their hands and faces again. Clean dining room.
Take everyone to the shower room and change their soiled diapers and wet clothes if need be. Shower at least two residents on my section according to
schedule, strip their beds down and wash every inch of the bed from the floors up.
Now its lunch, feed everyone, wash hands and faces again, take the ones that gets a nap after lunch and put them back to bed, turn the patient if they
can't every two hours. Take the rest to the bathroom. Clean dining room. Clean shower rooms and then dust and clean patients rooms including
In between all this deal with patients fighting, wandering off, trying to get up, screaming for a drink even though you just gave them one, answering
call bells and then have irate family members come in demanding to know why granny or papa has a drop of blood on his pillow even though any idiot
could see they have scratched a pimple on their forehead and the pillow case has just been put on as it is snow white and still has wrinkles from
being folded in the laundry.
Now add to this mix families who never visit, never even call to check on the family member. I once took care of a wonderful lady for three years she
had one son who would get drunk about every couple of months and call her. No one came to see her. When she died they could not find a family member
to sign for the funeral home to pick her up, finally a niece came and said she only had 500.00 to bury her aunt with and that no one else in the
family would sign, these low caliber nurses aids all who made less than 4.00/hr. sent to the store and took their own money to buy the nursing home
resident a new dress to be buried in. Now also imagine my surprise to find out this lady had 4 children all living in the immediate area who could
have easily visited their mother and given her joy and made her feel loved.
In all my years of working I only came across one lady who we thought was mean and she was turned in and fired. I will tell you straight out I would
go home sometimes and worry about not getting more done for them but it was near impossible to do more with the staff as small as it was. That where
most of the problems arise from IMO the states not making it mandatory for it to be so many aides per resident and enforcing it.