I need to get a different job

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  • I need to get a different job

    My preset job is night Nurse at a nursing home. The pay is good and the hours are good for me in my situation. The only problem is I get so depressed when dealing with the elderly patients and their problems. Last night one patient died in her sleep, when she was discovered, the doctor tried to revive her but she died. I had known her and talked to her a lot, she like a lot of other patients was my friend. I almost lost control in front of everyone, I had to hurry to the locker room and cried until I went home.

    I can't be like the nurses aids, they seem so cold and never get emotional about anything.That seems so cold and inhuman to me. They tell me I'll get used to it in time and it won't bother me. I talked it over with Kiyomi, she feels almost the same as I do and don't know how she'll react when she starts working.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.
    ― Bodhidharma

  • Sounds like you are the sort of kind, compassionate person well-suited to the job. If I end up in one of those places, I want you as one of those taking care of me!

    You do need to be able to manage some level of detachment, I suppose. However, the patients are elderly, near the end of their days, all part of the circle of life. That old woman who died was lucky to have had you around in her last days. I think it would be harder working with children in critical care. The death of a little one would be harder for me. Easier to be philosophical about the elderly.

    I am guessing you have nursing skills that are portable into other areas, so that you would be exposed to less of what now is troubling to you. There are no doubt options to explore.

    Is Kiyomi taking up nursing?
    I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.

    Comment


    • The idea of getting used to it scares me a little. I had a friend that used to be the assistant of like one of the primary vets at an animal hospital, he quit because they usually could not save the animals that people brought in. He decided to get work elsewhere for less money even though he has a wife and a new born.

      So while I do not think I can advise you, I hope the testimonial (for lack of better word) I've provided helps you a little bit.

      The flip side though is maybe you are doing the people you are nursing good by being their friend. Maybe the person that would replace you would not want to be their friend.
      [B]"Are you serious? You're [i]bleeping[/I] THAT girl?"[/B][B] - [COLOR="#B22222"]jen1447[/COLOR][/B]

      Comment


      • In Buddhism, death is just another part of the cycle of life and death. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        ...
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

        Comment


        • Sorry I posted this in the wrong area. My mistake, I meant to put it in The Lounge.

          In Buddhism, death is just another part of the cycle of life and death. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
          Knowing that did not change the way I felt last night. There are other things that depress me. Most of the patients were dumped there by families that just wanted them out of sight. By sending them there and paying, they think they have met their responsibilities to them. Most never even visit more that once or twice a year. They die without the comfort of their family.

          There are a few days that I feel good about myself, when I had the opportunity to do something good to help someone. Most of the time I just see the helpless, hopeless patients that are just living out their days.
          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
          Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.
          ― Bodhidharma

          Comment


          • Where my wife comes from, they have no such places. They take care of their own. The old are still valued. My wife said it would bring shame on the family not to take good care of the old ones to the end. To ship them off to be cared for by someone else would not be considered.
            I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.

            Comment


            • Chaya,

              A very close friend of mine hit a very low point in their life last year due to circumstances beyond their control. Although this person was surrounded by an awesome support system, it wasn't enough. This person wrote a suicide note, and was in the process of downing a lot of alcohol with a bottle of pills in hand. (I won't go into more detail for the sake of anonymity.) Thankfully, we got to them before many were swallowed.

              Suffice it to say I rode up front with the ambulance driver while the paramedic in the back of the rig talked to my friend non-judgmentally. My friend opened up and told the paramedic the bulk of what had transpired the past several months. The paramedic grabbed my friend's hands and began talking. S/he revealed that their fiancé was killed in a car accident a week before their wedding.

              Fast forward to the moral of the story - my friend identified with this paramedic who'd suffered much the same. The paramedic went on to explain the many blessings that had been bestowed upon him/her afterward. S/he showed unconditional compassion for my friend. Of all the medical staff we encountered, this paramedic is still held in high regards because of the impact s/he had.

              You, in many ways, are a lifeline for these elderly patients. You show them compassion. You make their last days have meaning because you care! They may not have visitors, but they have you.

              If the job is too stressful, it may begin having a negative impact on your personal life. The bottom line is you need to do what is best for you! But what you do for your patients matters.

              Comment


              • Is Kiyomi taking up nursing?
                Kiyomi went to the same school as me and graduated the same time. She can't work in US because she is on a student visa. She is going on to get her masters degree and will start the summer session next month. She will probably be a nurse someday.
                [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
                Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.
                ― Bodhidharma

                Comment


                • Chaya, time for the reality check. You go into nursing with an ultruistic view of soothing the ills and pains of all we come across. You are not alone in that romantic dream, it's why we go to school, why we learn about the body and it's processes. We soon become dis-illusioned of all of this in the face of reality. Nursing is hard work, it's not the dreamy romantic job we first invisioned. It's hours spent on paperwork, changing dressings, treating decubitis ulcers and debriding wounds. You know all of this by now.

                  Did you take additional courses of end-of-life care? These are so beneficial. You can specialize in this area if you were of the constitution to do so. Yes their problems are somewhat different, sometimes all they want is a friendly face and a comforting set of arms to reposition them in bed.

                  I spent a long time nursing in a CC unit that was for brain injury (strokes, aneurysms,) on geriatric patients. They are often forgotten mainly because they've lost control of their brain functions, and bodily functions. It take a special person to maintain a connection with them. I had one not so elderly male whose son had power of attorney for him, that spent his pension each and every month, to the point where the poor man had NO shavers with which to shave him. They didn't even want to spend $10.00 a month for his personal care. The hospital of course, doesn't want to spend it either. We took up a collection each month to try to cover some of these deficiencies.

                  I'm saying all this because very often, sad as it is, death is the big escape for some of these patients. Some have lain there year after year, not able to scratch an itch, not able to tell us if they had a toe or leg cramp, they were there just existing.

                  You've taken the courses you know that these deaths take place usually in the dark of night or the early morning light.

                  All I can suggest at this point is that you try to find an area of nursing where these things are a distant past. Ortho wards usually have a quick turn around (the patients usually are grumpy and for a short while they're in pain) but they generally discharge home. Rehab can be arduous work, but with the right patient can be very rewarding, as can Ob wards. You just may have to find your niche area in the nursing profession. Until then these other people need you.
                  That which we forget may as well never really happened.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Baboy View Post
                    Where my wife comes from, they have no such places. They take care of their own. The old are still valued. My wife said it would bring shame on the family not to take good care of the old ones to the end. To ship them off to be cared for by someone else would not be considered.
                    Baboy, very often these people have outlived their sons, daughters, spouses, and other relatives aren't around. They have severe brain injuries that prevent them from being taken care of in a home-like situation. They are on feeding tubes, they are incontinent and wear diapers. They have medications that must be injected by a doctor or a nurse. They can't speak, walk or move on their own. The only movement is being turn from one side to the other side of their bodies.

                    We sometimes revive persons in an ambulance or an emergency room where the kindness really would have been to let them go because their existence becomes ones of quantity rather than quality.

                    It also is not that families of these people don't care, it's that they aren't able to provide the type of care required. It means a son or daughter is caught in the middle of taking care of an infirm person at home as well as a couple of children, spouse and a job. Some people just get stretched too thin. This too can have devastating results on the entire family.

                    It's not a matter of shame, it's a matter of self-preservation.
                    That which we forget may as well never really happened.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Baboy View Post
                      Where my wife comes from, they have no such places. They take care of their own. The old are still valued. My wife said it would bring shame on the family not to take good care of the old ones to the end. To ship them off to be cared for by someone else would not be considered.
                      It's true that America does not have a strong culture of "respect your elders" but I think there is an inherent feeling of obligation to take care of the parents. There are more people out there taking care of ill and elderly relatives, often at their own financial and emotional cost. And the thing is we are not built as a society to help families take care of their own. Healthcare covers hospitalization, sometimes nursing and hospice care, but not care by a family member. And there will always be a few bad apples.

                      Most Asian societies, especially the poorer ones, don't have a system to send the ill and elderly away. They also can't afford it. But there is enough elderly abuse and neglect going on. And even the ones who are taking care of their elders aren't always doing it out of love, but more out of obligation. Also, many times, the people taking care of the ill/elderly aren't the direct family members. It's the wife of the son who stays at home and therefore it left to care for the invalid mother/father-in-law, not the son himself.

                      I find that Americans have a tendency to exoticize other cultures, but the reality is that each society inherently has similar issues hidden within it. As a person who has lived in both cultures, I can attest to the fact that most problems exist in both societies. They just take on a different appearance.

                      Truthfully, I would rather end up neglected at the nursing home than taken care of by family who really don't want to be doing that. At least there would be the possibility of meeting people like Chaya who really care.
                      Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                      Comment


                      • I think we do respect our elders. Just in a distinct manner. We very much value independence here. It's true that we don't generally have multi-generational families. We are a much more mobile society than many mid-eastern or Asian communities. One other thing to consider in this conversation, we are not talking about a retirement community we are talking about a long-term care facility or even a hospice type facility. In many of the cultures that do take in their elders, that suffer from strokes, etc. they usually die prior to having to make a decision on where they will live. If you don't have enough of your faculties to chew and swallow your food and if you are not in a hospital where access to tube feeding is available, your life span is greatly decreased.
                        That which we forget may as well never really happened.

                        Comment


                        • chaya, a number of years ago, my BF (pre-me) spent what he considers to be one of the worst nights of his life at a nursing home. He'd just been harshly dumped by his then-GF, and he was emotionally reeling. He had to go to this place for work to bounce some undesireable out of there and then stay the night in case the guy came back. (The guy was a relative of a resident who would steal stuff and cause problems when he was there.) Anyway he had to go into the home several times during the course of the night to make sure all was secure, then go on the lookout outside, etc. It got to the point where he almost couldn't force himself to go inside, because while in there he'd encounter all these lost souls like the people you describe - sleepless old men and women with cognition difficulty wandering the halls who were often desperate and not aware of where they were, etc. The staff there was inured to it all and would basically ignore them except for their immediate physical needs. I think if he'd seen even one person like you who actually cared for them, it would have made it tolerable. But he was in that bottom-of-the pit place of total emotional rejection, feeling utterly alone and seeing nothing but isolation and despair all around him in the form of these 'walking dead,' sort of forgotten ghosts. It was almost more than he could take, truly, and he's a pretty tough guy. It was basically a real-life dungeon of horrors.

                          Toward morning he recovered a bit because he decided to engage one of the old women who approached him rather than avoid her or give her some platitude in passing. She simply asked him if he knew if "the men had gone fishing" that morning, like she was uncertain about where everyone she knew was and scared that she was alone. He told her he thought they had, which seemed to give her some comfort. She smiled, and her comfort in turn comforted him.

                          I guess my point in sharing is that I'd like to encourage you to keep being that caring person, whatever career path you end up taking. When your own time comes years and years from now, you'll be able to look yourself in the eye and take satisfaction in the fact that you never stopped being human.
                          [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

                          Comment


                          • It was basically a real-life dungeon of horrors.
                            Some nights I feel like that, when I get off I'm so depressed I can hardly drive home.
                            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
                            Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.
                            ― Bodhidharma

                            Comment


                            • I knew I'd be taken to task for suggesting that some things are done better in other parts of the world. Families where I lived tend to be larger than here and the situation Claret describes, or no one left standing, rarely arises.

                              There, you really don't see the basket cases Claret describes. That is likely because illness overtakes them and they die before they end up with feeding tubes and such. They will die of the illness at home. Here, they'll be whisked off to hospital in an ambulance, fortified a bit, then sent for long-term care. The same is true at the other end of the spectrum. There, you almost never see hopelessly disabled children. There is no money to keep a newborn in an incubator, an ICU, etc. They live or they die. Many die in those countries that here would be kept alive by some quite extraordinary measures. Some seem to be sentenced to a life (or, more aptly, an existence) of misery, yet we have done the right thing, so it is said.

                              With our pets, euthanasia is "the right thing to do" when they have no life left to live. For people, it's murder, even when sought. I have yet to figure that one out. I hope to go quickly before I have fallen completely apart. Short of that, I hope I'll have the means and the fortitude to dispatch myself.
                              I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.

                              Comment

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