Thursday, March 20, 2014

Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant

     I have been a certified nursing assistant for almost thirteen years. Over the course of my years I have worked very hard, seen lots of things, had to deal with multiple types of people, and they all have a place in my heart forever. I get so sick of when people ask what I do, and I reply with a CNA. Their response is, "Oh, your a butt wiper." Yes, that is a portion of our job, a very small portion of the job. CNA's do so much  more than just "wipe a butt."  I have worked in nursing homes, continuing care part of a hospital, as well as long term acute care. I have taken care of patients/ residents of all ages, 21-103. The job is far more physical and emotional then people realize.
      As a Aide we have to watch each person on a daily basis, take care of all of their daily needs, and be there for each emotional breakdown/ excitement/ birthday/ holiday/ physical changes/ abuse/ eating habits, as well as so much more. Over the course of my years I have seen, experienced, learned, and made many friends along the way. The doctors are amazing and literally give up much of their lives for their career, but they don't always spend much time with each patient, nurses are running so fast and taking care of so many needs and demands they don't always get the time to spend with each patient that they would like to, and aides we have to spend as much time as we can with each resident/ patient as we can manage.
     In each facility you will find the wonderful aide(s) that takes the time to help each resident/ patient, and the nurse that will put the effort to go directly to the patient/ resident and address the issue at hand immediately,  and the doctor that is truly concerned and drop their current task at hand to help the person at need. As an aide we spend the most time with each person. When working in a facility of residents I take care of, I talk to each of my residents/ patients. I could tell you where they are from, how many kids they have, where their kids are located, how many grandchildren they have, where they worked before they retired, the secrets they never told anyone but seem to want to get off their chest, and so many other things. Some of these people have family that come in and see them if not daily at least weekly. Some people have no one that comes in to see them at all. The only people that can make or break their day is the staff at the location of which they live.
     I am the one that is there on Mother's Day when that mother (resident/ patient) doesn't want to lay down for their afternoon nap, or go down to the dining room because they are afraid they may miss their child/ grandchild that may or may not come to see them. When no one does come to see them and they are crying so hard they are difficult to communicate with. Me. The CNA, "butt wiper". Me. I am the one that is there holding their hand telling them how amazing they are and not to worry. The CNA that took their money to go out and buy flowers to give to each Mother on that Mother's Day. Any holiday for that matter. Those people want to be visited, and a lot of times they don't get visitors often or even at all. The only people they spend the most time with is the CNA taking daily care of them.
     I have had multiple residents/ patients that has no one in their lives, or that ever comes to see them. They connect to me as their CNA. They wanted to give me their estate, make me their beneficiary, and put me on their will. Why??? Because I was the only person that came in and talked to them, not over them. I treated them like a person, not a job. Did I ever except any of those things they offered me? NO! I did for them as any person should do for another, and I know many aides that are the same way. They take the time and effort to treat each person as they should. In many interviews I am asked, "Why should I hire you?" My answer is, "Because I am here for the resident/ patient. In every job I have been in I am a patient/ resident favorite. I go in and talk to the person, I don't talk to the other professional in the room as if the patient isn't present. In a way I treat each person like MY child. Not like a child, but like my child."
     By that I mean, if I walked into the room to a person and was about to start taking care of them and they were my child (of any age) how would I want them treated?? That is exactly how I treat them. My children are my life. I would want them treated with respect, acknowledge all of their requests and do them within my means, and listen. That is really all they want, is for someone to listen. Many facilities are so short staffed, each person is neglected or pushed aside to a later moment at some point. There are rushed through things because there are times frames for everything. You can't be late without some sort of scolding so everything has to be hurried. The next time you ask someone what they do, and their response is a certified nursing assistant. Don't look down to them, treat them like they are nothing, or act as if you are better than them. Because your not.
      The things aides do for each person, the emotion that goes into the job, and the time they take for each person is more than most anyone does in the health care profession. If you think you are "better" or that is "beneath you". Remember that one day you, or someone you love is going to be in need of these services. You or someone you love will one day need to be taken care of and want the best person for the job. There are things you should always look for when choosing The Right Facility for your loved one. I will write another blog describing the things you should always look for when putting your loved one in a long term care facility.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kicking the Habit (biting nails)

     As people we tend to pick up nasty habits. For me I used to like biting my nails and smoking just to name a few. I'm sure I have others, but these two habits I share with a lot of people. Biting your nails involves putting your fingers in your mouth. After touching any and everything throughout the day, handing off and receiving germs from different people, and even through the night when you are sleeping and scratching anywhere on your body. Anyhow, I tried everything to stop the habit! I tried to keep them polished, the nasty tasting finger nail polish, even having fake nails put on, and none of that worked. I still found away around it to get to my nails. So what finally did the trick for me is I decided one day that I would write down every single thing that I touch. That by the way is impossible because you are always touching something even without being aware that you just touched something new. I wash my hands all the time, and I have a bottle of antibacterial soap pretty much anywhere I go and that still doesn't keep all the germs off your hands. Especially under your nails where germs like to rest for a long time because it is difficult to get everything out from under your nails while scrubbing your hands. However, by writing down anything you can remember you have touched, and imagine putting your fingers in your mouth along with those items can really turn you off from ever biting your nails again. Its amazing how even pushing an elevator button can transfer some nasty germs to you. The next time you go to put your nail in your mouth and want to begin chewing it off, stop! Imagine going up to a complete stranger and putting their nails in your mouth, you don't have any idea of the bacteria under your nails just as you wouldn't a complete strangers! Try the hand washing/ blacklight challenge!! It'll amaze you!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wicked Winter

    This winter so far has been brutal for illness, at least for our family it has. I have had bronchitis, my five year old has had a cold and also pneumonia. My eleven year old has had a cold, stomach flu, and a sore throat. My daughter has had a terrible cough of which she had to take antibiotics, steroids, cough suppressant, and a fever reducer. My husband has also been ill with the flu, cough, and sore throat. Trust me it's not due to lack of cleanliness! I am a germaphobe like no other. Constantly washing hands and squirting on the antibacterial soap. With most of the above mentioned illnesses there isn't much you can do other than wait them out, and take some over-the-counter medications to subside some of the symptoms. Obviously with the pneumonia you need some strong antibiotics. The rest of the common illnesses usually just take some time, rest, fluids, and in some cases a humidifier! 
     The humidifier really helped with my sons breathing during his pneumonia, and it actually helps to keep his throat from getting raw. We have continued using it hoping to keep away any other problems with his throat being so dry. Honey rather than medicine help soothe the throat so he was able to eat food without complaining of his throat hurting so much. Just a teaspoon here and there did wonders for him, and he also enjoyed the taste. It made his cough very much more bearable for him. However, for us adults Nyquil severe flu seemed to work better to help with the flu. Especially when I have three kids of which the younger two are in need of constant attention, so getting actual "rest" isn't an option. I have to get over whatever illness I get very quickly, because toddlers really don't understand when mommy is sick. 

Welcome to my very first blog! Here is a little getting to know me!

     Hello, my name is Alicia. I am a mother of three amazing children. They are all very smart and unique in their own way. Each one does something that amazes me everyday, as well as something that makes me want to pull out my hair! I love them all to pieces either way. I am married to a wonderful man named Jeremy that is literally my other half. My family is my life. We live out in the sticks (hints the name of the blog :) so we have to find ways to entertain one another, which in our family could be anything. A lot of the games we play are usually made up by any of us. Sometimes we make homemade fun toys, which usually are more fun then the expensive toys. I will get into more of that later.
     I have worked in health care for almost 13 years, and have tried a couple different positions in between to see if something else out there got me excited. I have found that the thing that excites me the most is my family. All of them! I come from a crazy family, complicated and very confusing to try to explain. However, there is many of us, and we keep each in line, and we are all crazy at times! This is like my online journal. My opinions, or just random curious thoughts. Full-Time mom, employee, wife, sister, family, life.