Seven O'clock Shift

Sunday, June 05, 2016 2 Comments A + a -

Sunday Scribbling, nurse, nurse's life,For years I have worked at 7, either 7 in the morning or seven at night when I started working in a nursing home as a nurse's aide, and through February 2016 as a registered nurse. I would say, since I was 19. I am 45 now, so do the math.
It is the beginning of my self-sufficiency when I could support myself, pay for my rent, car payments, food, and tuition in the community college. It is when I started my shift as an aide in the nursing home. I wore all-white then—bright white, ironed, uniform in the beginning of the shift, and wrinkled at the end. I had a special cleanser for my white working shoes, and a polisher with a matching brush. I was so neat. Now I hardly clean the top of my Dansko shoes I wear all day in the hospital. I also do not own a shoe brush for a long time now. I even do not iron my scrubs. Thank goodness for a good clothes dryer. My royal blue uniform comes out wrinkle-free, well almost.

We had some interesting residents in my first job in the nursing home. One, I remember because he was so handsome. He looked like Bruce Willis, and even with amputated legs (he lost his legs from the war) he sat up so tall in his bed in good posture—stomach in, chest out. He was always sitting up when I get to work, waiting to get help to sit on the wheelchair for his breakfast. Always with his smile on his face, I help him first. He always won the first-smile-first serve of the day when it comes to me. He brightened my day. 

Another resident I cannot forget was the skinny little lady who I could not figure out how to please. She was always grumpy and unsatisfied. I bet she had a busy, controlled life when she was younger and just frustrated living in the nursing home too weak to fend for herself. Looking back, I think she was so cute. 

Both residents did not get visitors. I worked in that nursing home for four years and both of them did not get visits from anyone but the staff and volunteers. I tried to spend as much time as I could with this two however different they were with each other. I miss those years. I miss them.

Now, in the ICU, as a registered nurse, it is not common to bond with patients as before. My patients generally do not stay long enough in the intensive care which is a good thing. A few comeback walking to our units  weeks or months later to give gratitude. I love these times. And I love to see them vertical and not lying down in our bed with all kinds of monitors, and tubes inserted in many orifices. They have big smiles on their faces. They make my week.

I do not work at 7 anymore. I start at 10 a.m. and leave at 7:30 p.m. working 9 hours a day, four times a week. It still adds as 36 hours a week, and so my little blog's title  remains the same – 36 Hour Work Week.

What's the significance of the number 7 in your life? View more number Seven posts through the Sunday Scribblings or better, yet, join us.


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June 7, 2016 at 11:24:00 AM MDT delete

I loved reading this... thank you so much for sharing your experiences and giving me a peek into the life of a professional caregiver. I think your patients are very lucky to have your positive energy!

June 7, 2016 at 7:27:00 PM MDT delete

What a nice thing to say. Thank you.


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