SO YOU WANT TO BE A
part 3 and this is the most
important, in my mind of the 3.
What you need inside yourself
to be a good aide.
And aide is a very special person.She
is the eyes and ears for the nurse. Any
changes at all, you notice and report.
For years she/he did work that many
wouldn't and had a horrible reputation
because of it. If you said you were an
nurses aide, people would tell you, I am
sorry you can't get a better job. Bartender,
waitress something. They thought being
a nurses aide was the bottom of the barrel.
Even some nurses had the same opinion.
If you weren't a nurse then you weren't
much. And even to this day, there are some
who will say, not me. I wouldn't, couldn't
do that job. And that is kind of true. You
really got to love it to be a good aide.
There are several kinds of aides.
1. There are the teens and others
who are there only for the money and
a stepping stone to a better job, a
better paying job. And their job
performance shows it.
2. There are aides who just do the
work, and want the money. They will
do the job well. The resident will be
taken care of. They do what is
required and nothing extra.
3. And then there are the aides whose
whole heart is in it. We love the
residents. Even the badly behave ones.
And you better or else it will never
work for you and you won't last long.
The sweet grandma that people talk
about can slam you against the wall,
pull your hair, spit in your face, and
cuss you out like a trooper. The sweet
grandpa, can make sexual remarks at
you, call you dirty names, punch you,
pinch you, slap you, and throw feces at
you. 15% of them will. So if you can't
take the heat, get out of the kitchen,
as Harry Truman said.
Then there is 20 % who are demanding,
act like you are their maids, have no
respect for you, and are not beneath lying
about you to their families. No amount of
smiles, and yes, ma'am, I will do it right
away ma'am, is going to change their minds.
It is a guilt thing they do on their families
to get out of there. How bad things are
there and how bad you are. And some of
the families know because they watched
20/20 or such, have seen those thieving,
rough, abusive aides on TV and you look
just like them.
The other 65% are a pleasure, they will
break your heart, make you smile, make
you laugh, make you cry, and endure in
your heart for years. They will tell you
thank you. And when you come back from
vacation, they will tell you how much they
missed you. And that is why you are there.
That is why you will last for years at the job.
They say objectivity, you have to have it to
endure in the job. And for the most part
that is true. Because if you don't have it...
you will be eaten alive with stress, hurt,
and take everything to heart. But you
can also have a heart. In fact, if nothing
bothers you, maybe, just maybe you
shouldn't be there. Because you have to
be awful cold hearted not to be affected
by these people.
I have held a lady in my arms as she died.
I have hum Jesus loves Me, as a woman
was dying. I have read passages in the
bible to many residents over the years.
Most the time on my own time the first
10 years. On Noc shift you have more time,
so you can do these things. I have sat near
the bed, and hummed Amazing Grace.
I have sat silently by the bed and held their
hands. I have hugged their family as well.
The family is important as the resident,
but in the last stages, they need us too. We
have laughed with them, we have held
them as they cried. And if they couldn't
be there, we have talked about the last moments.
This is all things we have done because we
wanted to. We didn't have to, we wanted to.
When you go in and take care of residents
in a health care center, you have to
remember what they gave up. They have
given up their homes. Be it ranches, farms,
big house or apartments in exchange for a
8 by 10 living space. They now share a room
with a total stranger 99% of the time. Some
one who might take their things. Which
talking about their possessions, they go from
rooms of furniture and all their things, to
their clothing, a few knickknacks and if they
are lucky a favorite chair. Only the ones who
can afford a private room, will fair better.
So think about it...8x10 feet. Jails have
probably as much room.
So try to put yourself in their shoes.
When they are short with you, when
they tell you they hate it there. That
their families brought them there to
died, think about it. How would you feel?
A few pictures, clothes, a knickknack
that might be taken, clothes that if your
name is not marked on it, might just
show up on some one walking by. So
you have to understand how they feel.
So it takes a lot of compassion, a lot of
stamina, a lot of heart, endurance, and
when you think you can't do it anymore,
something will give you a boost. A smile,
a thank you, it is small but it will give you
unexpected energy. You will have your
heart pulled, as you deal with death.
Cancer takes it total on a lot of them, yet
they will find a secret place to be brave,
to endure, and be an inspiration to you.
You are suppose to be holding them up,
when it is them who hold you up. It is amazing.
You will applaud as they take their steps,
after a stroke. Any tiny step forward with
a foot, a hand to their mouth, a word that
came out, that meant what they were trying
to say. You are their champion, and they are yours.
I did this job for 17 plus years. I wouldn't
change a thing with the residents. I might
have even still been there, if it wasn't for the
Administration. That is the part that will pull
an aide down to their knees.
I left because I worked for the residents.
I was their advocate, I made sure they kept
their dignity as much as possible. I kept
their confidence. And when it came to being
about the building and not the resident, I
knew it was time to go. I knew I could not
fight the battle anymore. I pray for those aides
who work so hard. They keep going, no matter
how the public or their bosses views them.
I was a Registered Certified Nurses Aide and
I was and am proud of that to this day. On
my last morning, I walked around and hugged
the aides good bye. I walked out of the building.
I stopped and looked back. And thank God for
letting me be his humble servant. I thank God
for letting me do it right. And turn and got in
my truck and drove away. No company party,
which is how I like it... but no letter of thank you,
for your years of service, which that I would
have liked. But it was expected of that company,
that is just they way they are.
Remember you are there for ALL your
residents. You will have favorites, it can't
be helped. But your job is be there for the
ornery ones as well as the sweet ones. If they
are angry, or upset in anyway, it isn't at you.
It is at the situation. You are just the person
that is available to vent against. Also you are
not happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
365 days a year. Neither will they be. Do your
work and give them space. If they need an
encouraging word or a hug, give it to them.
It isn't so much your job, it is what you want
to do.... if you have the real heart of an aide...
it is what is inside of you.
I know in the land of computers and on line,
people copy and paste things they see. So I
can't prevent you from doing it. But I do ask,
if you will at least ask me if you can do it. I
don't want it to be used for commerical
purposes. But would be glad to ok use for
yourself, or fellow aides. And gladly
ok it for teachers of nurses aides.
Thank you... the
9 hours ago