Thursday, December 16, 2010

Working - from feelings of dread to happy/high

I am mostly doing fine at my new job at Corvallis Manor, feeling good about the care I give, and enjoying my fellow employees. 

But one thing that can happen, working night shift, is an aide will call in sick for day shift.  It is a feeling of DREAD that it might be my section and I will be expected to work a few hours into the day shift.  When I work all night, I am living for that 6:30am hour to be free to go home.  It feels almost devastating to find out that instead of being free to go home, I need to continue on, getting patients toileted, washed, and dressed for breakfast.  A new round of vital signs needed, call lights to answer.

That happened this morning. What made it worse is last night I forgot to bring my phone.  I would normally call Gary so he wouldn't worry that I'm not home around the usual time.  I realized that I did not know his phone number.  I looked it up in the phone book, but mistakenly looked in the Albany section so it wasn't there.  Argh.  Luckily he saw my phone at home, and when I didn't show up, he called the Manor to verify that I was working late.  A really nice woman came to tell me, and to say that he wanted to make sure I knew that he knew, so I wouldn't worry.  She said she appreciated having a reason to meet me.

At night I'm responsible for 15-18 people.  The day shift is responsible for more like 6-8 people.  Luckily I had a pretty good group.  The first thing that came up was one of mine wanted her shower right away.  I haven't not given showers at this facility so hoped she could direct me on the procedure.  She was just great.  She is a tiny elderly woman, with only one leg.  She is amazing.  She grips things with her hands and hops to get where she needs to be, like wheelchair to shower chair.  She is cheerful and energetic.  It went well and I was so pleased.

The best part of this experience was having so many people thanking me for staying late (like I had a choice!) and pitching in as if I were a regular on day shift.  It made me feel just great to have the other aides thank me.  And I got plenty of smiles and nice words from others.  I ended up feeling happy/high.

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