Skip to content Skip to navigation

A trainee's misstep

May 6, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
| Reprints

This facility has a nurse aide training class. About every two months they are on the nursing floor doing their clinical training. Usually, trainees have clinicals for two days a week during day shift. Recently, students have done clinicals on second shift. But yesterday was a first. They were here to do clinicals on a Saturday morning!

Since we usually have just three aides on the weekends, the extra help gives the regular aides an easier day. It is also nice to have extra hands to assist us residents.

However, I am always nervous when trainees are on the floor because I know one of them will be told to feed me.

As I entered the dining room yesterday, Katie (pseudonym), the instructor was sitting with a female resident she was going to feed while observing her students. When I looked for my spot at the table, a male resident was in it, no doubt put there by a trainee.

I moved to the other side of the table where I could see both dining rooms. While I waited for my breakfast, a dark-haired female trainee was preparing to feed a resident. A blonde trainee walked in, handed the other trainee a pair of gloves, while putting on her own.

Immediately, Katie said, "What are you doing?" The blonde trainee said, "I do not want to get sick!" Katie said, "Sick from what? What bodily fluid will you be in contact with here?" "Spit" said blonde trainee.

"It is virtually impossible to be infected by saliva,” admonished Katie. "You would have to have an open sore on your hand and a lot of saliva would have to get in it.” Katie got louder when she said, "It also is not very personal to feed your resident while wearing gloves!" The girl started to say something, grimaced, and walked to the other dining room.

I could not believe a trainee would openly disagree with her instructor. I also wondered why Katie did not take her aside and chat with her.

The blonde trainee was young. But I have never seen or heard such an exchange between a student and the nurse instructor during any of the clinicals held here.

To me, the blonde trainee does not appear to be a good candidate to be an aide. I hope Katie talked with her. But I wonder if it did any good.

Topics

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...