Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hurry up and wait

Last night I had my first clinical. Mostly it was orientation, and *yawn*. We also worked in the "feeder dining room" and fed residents who needed help with it. I helped a lovely but somewhat confused resident. Unfortunately, between my apparently fading hearing and her low voice, it was a bit of a farce. But she got a fairly good meal down and we watched the birds in the aviary. Nice.

Now I'm in the interminable job wait. I've applied for a number. I'm quite excited about one: Hospice home health aide. The more I think about it, the more I think Hospice is where I want to end up (short-term, people, I'm talking work). I think it's such incredibly important work, people there don't seem to fall into the politics and backstabbing - and if I'm wrong, please don't write to me about it, I need my little dream.

I wonder, though, since I'm still techincally in class, if they'll disregard my applications. One spot has been open since December. I hope they're hot to fill it. To get to be a voyeur in someone's house and support them through death? Too cool for words. I know that's slightly twisted but what can I say. I have my foibles.

Tonight we work 1:1 or 2:1 with residents. Everyone is nervous but me. I figure I've been training for this job for the last 4 years, right? Feeding people who don't want to eat? Changing wet/dirty diapers? Making endless beds? No problemo.

What I *am* nervous about is the general load of work for the hours of the shift. Seriously, there were probably 10-12 residents in the feeder room and there would only have been THREE CNAs to help them. I just think that's nuts. A normal pt load is 8-10. That's 8-10 people who can't do most things for themselves. Dressing, feeding, walking (I canNOT say "ambulate"), cleaning, toileting, feeding, toileting, meds... it's a wonder anything gets done at all. I am afraid I'll be paralyzed by a crisis of indecision. Wha-? Who? When??

I know a lot of it is just figuring out your own routine, but that's so not something I'm good at, the routine. I'm not routine-y. Now martini, that's another story.


d e v a n said...

Good luck! It sounds like you were made for this job. ;)

Jess P. said...

I've always thought that hospice would be a great area of work. The nurses/cna/everyone in that wing really makes or breaks the experience for the families. One fantastic nurse can make a horrible situation feel so much better. I guess I'm a little twisted too. :)

Lisa said...

So what's new?

Student Nurse Nancy said...

Hospice, the art of dying gracefully. I've been thinking about it myself. Wondering if that's where I should be. Whenever we have a patient close to death I always pray that the powers that be let me work with that patient. Even worse (disturbing) is that I hope that persons dies on my shift so I can somehow ease their transition and help the family with their loss. It's twisted but I'm absolutely fascinated by it.