- There is ALWAYS a solution. It’s simple mathematics. There are no problems without solutions. We may not know the solution right away. We might not like the solution. But knowing one exists brings some peace to the workplace.
- Wet sneakers suck.
- Friendship is vital to the quality of my life. My friends, co-workers and residents alike, make impossible work days possible.
- We are our own knights in shining armor. Management is unlikely to come fix issues on the floor that they do not understand. We need to be the leaders. They can keep the title.
- There is a difference between convenience and necessity. Life goes much smoother when I don’t confuse the two. It is this bit of insight that has taught me how to process and prioritize in a moment’s notice.
- They more effort I put into a day, the greater the sense of accomplishment I get at the end of it. It’s matched only by the sense of relief that I pushed through with my somewhat questionable sanity intact.
- Sometimes you have to make peace with the mundane. Thorough documentation may be repetitive but it’s so very important.
- A sense of humor can save your life. It can definitely save your sanity. Embrace absurdity! There is plenty of it to go around.
- Icy-hot is the greatest stuff ever invented.
- Don’t take it personally. We don’t pick our residents. Not every resident is going to love you. That’s not their job. It’s our job to care for them regardless of their personal feelings about us.
- Set boundaries, communicate, and negotiate! These are the magic words for me, not only at work but in life. Boundary setting has been a skill that I’ve had to learn. As caregivers, we are often thrown into situations which require us to be the solution. It becomes a habit, but we are not and should not try to be the solution to all problems. Sometime “no” is a complete sentence. Negotiation shows a willingness to be flexible. Life on the floor is that tricky dance between consistency and flexibility. A persnickety resident adamantly refuses a shower in the morning? Usually, I can convince them to take one after lunch. It gives them a little bit of control. It gives them an option. There is no overestimating the value of open communication, especially with my co-workers. If we are to work as a team rather that at odds, it’s important to be open, honest, and direct. It is equally important to be willing to receive what they have to say to you. Ideally, we are all working towards the same goal; quality care for our residents. I have found conversation and direction from one caregiver to another is far more effective than going to the office every five minutes in the hopes that they will solve a problem that they do not understand.
- More will be revealed. The tough times pass just as quickly as the good times and they have much more to teach us.
- We can never give up if we hope to convince our residents that their life still has value and is absolutely worth the fight. In a very real way, we are their most important advocate because we know them best. It is at the heart of what we do. We owe it to them to make sure that we are heard, and in doing so, THEY will be heard.
14…..did I mention wet sneakers suck?