So, yes, this whole nursing home thing. Actually, it hadn’t been as bad as I was anticipating. Then and again, if your expectations are that low, it’s actually relatively easy to exceed them. It’s a case of limited members of staff doing their best with a lack of resources and funding. For example, the optimistically labeled ‘Sensory Room’ is in fact a store cupboard. Saying that, it’s one of the better of the limited number of nursing homes I’ve come into contact with. The patients are also all advanced dementia which makes it hard to say the least although there are rays of entertainment with some of the things they come up with. As one of my colleagues pointed out, “How come they still have a full vocabulary of swear words and yet can’t even remember their own names?”.

Tuesday though was an impossible day. We had a new admission which meant lots of management interference to make the place appear respectable. The sheer hypocrisy of it really got to me, pretending this is how it always is for the sake of the new relatives just isn’t right. Plus, I’m not there to be managements slave. Then there were aspects of the admission that really upset me. The wife has advanced dementia – doesn’t know who she or anyone else is and was the one being admitted. The husband also suffers from alzheimers although currently at a much earlier stage. Still pretty much entirely with it but becoming more forgetful, not passing on messages, that sort of thing. I felt so sorry for him, watching his wife and knowing that, but for some medical miracle, that will be him in a few years. *sigh*  Then we were short staffed in the afternoon which meant my supernumerary status really didn’t apply. And to top things off, I got a shit load of highly personal abuse off of one of the patients who really doesn’t have dementia, it’s just nowhere else will take him. Oh, and we had about 6 fire alarms which gave me the headache from hell.

On top of all this, I’ve been desperately trying to return my car to roadworthy (which it now is, yay!, although mostly due to amazing friends rather than me) and becoming highly sleep deprived for varying complex reasons. This meant that yesterday, my alleged day off, when I had a to do list as long as my arm, was spent asleep bar vague periods of consciousness to deliver the car to various appts. In the past 36 hours, I would estimate I’ve spent more than 24 of them fast asleep. This morning I was meant to go into work, hell I had the car back, didn’t even have to cycle and I just couldn’t do it. Phoned in sick and spent another 4 hours asleep. Now I don’t know, this has been a lot of sleep even for me and I haven’t been feeling 100% so maybe I’ve got some short term virus in which case being off is justifiable. But I suspect, as afraid as I am to admit it to myself, any physical symptoms are just a manifestation of what’s going on in my head. I just couldn’t do it after Tuesday so my body has attempted to create an excuse that my mind will tolerate. This isn’t justifiable. So now I have to deal with the guilt on top of everything else 😦


2 Responses to Placement

  1. Totally Detached says:

    Guilt is the last thing you need to think about :)Sleep is the best medicine, if you need it you need it, it’s totally possible that you ARE sick in which case your body is making you sleep to conserve energy with which to heal itself.
    Sorry placement isn’t that great, it can be upsetting being around older people. Thinking about the people they used to be and the people they are now is sad. At least you know you are there and will do evrything you can to make sure their day is as good as it possibly can be. As for the abuse, I know it’s horrible but that person is probably just so frustrated with being there that he needed to lash out.

    Or he could just have been an grumpy old fart :-/

  2. There’s no need to feel guilty – and yeah I know you can’t just turn it off. At least it shows you care. it’s irrelevant as to why you felt like you did – you needed a day off, you needed to sleep. It’s better for you to take a day off than to try and push through and end of making yourself even more unwell (see how mature I sound whilst giving advice. But you’ll probably be a lot better position to go on placement tomorrow because of it.

    Glad the placement isn’t as bad as you imagined. And just remember – they’re never forever and the placement will be over before you know it.

    Take care,

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