Saturday, May 1, 2010

Running Around in Circles

It is disconcerting to realize how much my work situation mirrors that of my widowhood. And even more to be living a life where I feel trapped and unable to escape my circumstances.

The problem with the job is pure and simple - there is just not enough staff. I have anywhere between 12 and 17 residents to care for depending on the floor. The actual caring of the residents isn't the issue - it is the logistics surrounding that care. On Friday, eight of my 12 residents required that I have assistance in getting them up out of bed into their wheel chairs. However, I spent countless wasted time running around hallways and entering rooms in an effort to locate another CNA to provide that assistance. Along the way I'd get nabbed by a nurse from another unit to take a resident to the bathroom or assist in some way. Then I'd be away from my residents longer than necessary. The deal is that I will be fired if I lift a person on my own and they fall or get hurt. I would also lose my CNA certification. In order to save time, most CNAs take that risk and transport residents requiring a two-person assist by themselves.

Bottom line is, while at work I feel as ineffective as I do at home parenting as an only parent or as a lover or with my finances. Running around in circles and falling woefully short.

God, is this going to be the story of the rest of my life? I worry that if it is so, I'm going to lose my mind! I can't keep at this where every corner of my life seems to be a miserable failure.

I leave work depressed and upset over everything I didn't get done - I'm worried I'll be fired for this. Then I get home to more running around in circles. This past week I've tried to solve a problem with one of my oldest son's acne prescriptions. There was a snafu between Walmart, the doctor, the drug company, which regulates the drug and then the insurance. I will spare you the details because it is a comedy of errors. But at the end, I threw up my hands and gave up. I can't solve this mess, nor should it be my responsibility to do so. There are people on the clock who should be figuring this out, not the poor mom without the time or energy.

This is the first time that I've given up on something since my husband's death. I've always worked it out in the past and figured it out. But I have reached a point where I am admitting defeat. It's like the seven year marriage itch they talk about. After all this time on my own, six and a half years, I've reached some point where I'm losing the resolve and strength I've possessed in the past. Admitting defeat and giving up.

I think there has to be balance in life. And when successes are missing, one's life becomes lopsided and hopeless. You feel like you just keep digging a hole to the center of the earth or like you're running around in circles endlessly.

I will give myself a few points of credit for at least not killing or physically harming anyone at work. That is a risk I will never take. Unfortunately, it resulted in one poor lady with only one leg never getting up out of bed on my shift because I could never locate a sling which is used for one of the equipment lifts. It is sad that she isn't coherent. If she was, I think the nursing home would be hearing about it and having some hell to pay.Show all


  1. Sorry to hear that you are having such a bad time at work. It sounds like a poorly managed place. Unfortunately, there are too many places like that. The burden falls on the nurses and nursing assistants. Does the place have any kind of staff meetings where problems can be discussed?

  2. Bev - I came to the same conclusion today after my eight-hour shift that ended up being an extra 30 minutes because I just can't get it all done. I was told I had to stay and make the beds I couldn't get to but I'm not paid for it. There have been some recent meetings about the work load, lack of team work and team spirit, as well as the policy of dumping on the newest CNAs. Those meetings don't seem to be making much of a difference though. I know problems aren't cured instantly but I really don't have much hope that change will be coming anytime soon, in part because of the lack of caring on part of the management and that the trend seems to be saving money.