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Working challenged

May 2, 2016
by Kathleen Mears
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We lost a good aide last week. She was younger, jovial and unfortunately quit without giving management any notice. I have no idea why younger people do this, but it occurs from time to time. When an aide is suddenly gone, it comes as a shock to coworkers and leaves a hole in the schedule. 

That next weekend another aide was set to fill that Saturday dayshift. But she got sick and called off. That meant Jane* and Wanda* had to care for more than 45 residents. A night shift aide stayed long enough to help with the breakfast rush. But after that, Jane and Wanda were on their own.

One nurse could help with transfers. But, the other was healing from a recent wrist fracture. Even with the challenges, Jane and Wanda were systematic and very professional. They were not loud, and they didn’t complain. Since I need a lot of care and rely on the aides, I always get a bit nervous. I watched to see if the aides would stumble mentally, but they did not. Though it is unrealistic to expect two aides to do the work of three, it is the reality sometimes.

When heading to my room after meals, I was surprised that the aides were ready to help me to the bathroom. The fact that there was little waiting time for me was appreciated. Usually if the residents know there is a shortage of aides, many try to be helpful and usually are less disruptive. Luckily, Saturday dayshift was quiet.

Watching Jane and Wanda work together with housekeepers helping to pass trays, I was impressed. Instead of being negative about the situation teamwork showed that the job could be done. I was pleased to see that the day was positive. All the staff seemed to pull together which improved the day for their coworkers and certainly for us residents.



Kathleen Mears

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