Saturday, April 9, 2016

ROLL A MILE IN MY SHOES

Ever since I entered this facility I have been saying there is a need for some kind of sensitivity training here. It would be beneficial for all of the staff, but it is especially needed for nurses and CNA's

I am not only talking about knowing what it's like to have to be assisted using a lift. I am talking knowing how other things residents have to endure make us  feel.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I need to do is go to the bathroom. Not all nurses will assist with this. They tell me they will let an aide know. If my aide is not available or hasn't arrived yet, I have wait. Sometimes I do not make it. I wet the bed. I may have to wait to be cleaned up. When my aide finally arrives, they act as if it's no big deal. It is not a big deal to them. It is a big deal to me. I am an adult who knows when they need to use the bathroom. Aides need to understand what it's like to need help . And the feeling of degradation you have when you have had an accident. Aides need to know what it feels like to be left in the bathroom or in bed, with no call button in reach. You feel trapped. Having to yell for help because no one has checked on you makes you fell like an animal

The way I am dressed here is very uncomfortable for me. They roll me from side in order to put my pants on. They put my shirt over head when I am laying down. .Because my arms are contracted, it hurts. If I try to tell them this is uncomfortable,  some aides tell me it's easier for them. Aides need to experience what it feels like to be dressed in this way. There are some aides who pull my pants when I am standing on the lift. They wait until I am in my chair to put my shirt on. Dressing me when I am out of bed is easier on me. It doesn't hurt the way being dressed in bed does. Aides need to listen tol the resident they re assisting. Sometimes a resident may know an easier way to do something. What works for some may not work everyone. We are all individuals. Each resident is different..

When I was studying to be a social worker, one of the things that we were taught was to have Empathetic Understanding  with a client. This is the ability to imagine how you would feel if you were in the same situation as the client you are assisting.   If aides had the ability to practice Empathetic Understanding I think they would be more compassionate. For many aides this is just a job. They just do it to get a check,

An aide told me last week,"I am not here to be nice. I am here to do my job." It would be nice if they could do both.

I see how hard the aides work. I know this job is not easy.

We have more aides on my floor now. I am happy to say things are running more smoothly.The new aides have been pleasant and helpful.

I hope this is the beginning of a positive change in this facility. I hope things are looking up.