Friday, 12 December 2014

Never Stop Trying: A motto for health care professionals working with the elderly.

Pretty solid.

It's most salient message is towards the end where she states that these breakthroughs won't happen every time but to keep on trying.

To be way more realistic these breakthroughs actually rarely happen but when they do it is profoundly rewarding.

However for the full time care workers within the profession it's actually a message that is easily forgotten through the heavy workload and stresses of the day to day job.  Combine that with rampant staff shortages, either due to people regularly calling in sick or simply quitting altogether (high turnover rate), and only hearing from management when you have done something wrong (such as forgetting to take the linen out at the end of shift) there is no wonder there is such a high burnout rate in this field.

Employees are often just struggling to get all of their basic job requirements completed for the day that they forget about the very personal aspect of the job.  I swear the amount of needless paperwork that I do just because the ministry requires it of us to cover the homes butt really infuriates me.  It is wasted time that should be spent on more resident care.
Now I'm fortunate that I only work as a personal support worker in long term care in a part time capacity. 

As such I always start my shift refreshed and motivated to make my residents lives just a little bit better during their, often less than ideal, end of life.

It can be a very harrowing experience but I've had countless encounters where major breakthroughs have been achieved directly through my actions.

These have varied from small examples of a resident smiling who people thought was catatonic or a resident allowing herself to be fed who would typically lash out physically to getting a woman to actually communicate in full sentences  who hadn't spoken in weeks.

I've even actually had a couple of breakthroughs I'd argue that are even more profound than the one seen in the video that are simply too personal to share.

The satisfaction I get from these moments cannot be understated.  Whether it be simply a smile or otherwise.

So my basic message would be to health care professionals to not forget the human aspect of the job as there are some definite sunny breaks to be had in what is often a very depressing existence if you are willing to put in the effort.

And likewise our politicians, managers/supervisors, bureaucrats, and family members should be aware of just how much work is required of our health care professionals and to provide these workers with whatever means you can so they can do the best job they can with our aging populations.

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