Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's Just a Job

R.a.n.t. of week 10/07/12
If there is one thing we can almost all agree on, it's jobs are (for the most part) not fun. Essentially they are boring and tedious. Much like the photo to the left illustrates, many jobs suck the life out of us. Of course my friend Ray is the exception. He works at a brewery and LOVES his job. Good for him I say! But for the rest of us, it can be tiresome. The problem is, some people let the job completely get away from them. There is a point where we need to 'buck up' and take the job seriously, despite the unpleasantness of it. Mostly because some jobs are essential, performance can mean the difference between something finely crafted, or complete crap. In some jobs, you actually need to deal with other people. Take a doctor for example. Treating this important job as 'just a job' can mean the difference between removing a patients tonsils or toenails.

As I mentioned last week, my dad took a bit of a tumble and broke his hip. A bored and inattentive doctor may well have inspected my dads lip instead of his hip and determined nothing was wrong. This week, he's out of the hospital and in a rehab centre. Visiting him has reminded me how important it is for the staff to pay attention to the needs of those under their care. For example, just this morning I went to visit my dad. From one of the first rooms I passed, a frail sounding patient was calling out for 'water' as if he hadn't had a drop in a week. Then I passed an elderly lady in a wheelchair trying to get coffee from a reception area. She was obvious a resident because she had a lost look on her face. My step-mother went to offer assistance, with the receptionist sitting close by. Following is a partial transcript of the conversation:
Sue (Step Mom): Are you trying to get coffee?
Resident: I don't know. I like coffee.
Sue: I think you overfilled your cup. Let me help you.
Resident: Thank you.
Sue: What's your name?
Resident: I don't know...... Eugenia.
Sue: Do you take cream or sugar Eugenia?
Resident: I don't know. I like sugar.
Sue: Are you going back to your room?
Resident: I don't know.
Sue: Where is your room?
Resident: I don't know.
Sue: (Asking receptionist) Do you know this resident?
Resident: I came from that direction. (Pointing down the hall).
Receptionist: Yes, her room is over there.
Resident: I can find it, thank you.
She went on her way, so we decided to go on ours and visited with my dad for a bit. The visit went well, but on our way out, from one of the last rooms we passed we heard a frail sounding patient calling out for 'water' as if he hadn't had a drop in a week and 40 minutes.

I'm not certain what the circumstance are for each case, but makes me wonder at times how sincere some of the care workers are that are helping our elderly parents, family or friends in care facilities. I don't work in such a place so it's hard for me to image what these care workers have to deal with on a regular basis. I just hope these residents have family or friends that checks in on them, because the care workers realistically have no emotional bond. I've felt depressed before when I've felt lonely, but to feel lonely or abandoned in this type of situation really makes me think I've got to 'buck up' next time I'm feeling like that. My dad's lucky, he's got three daughters and one son that visit him regularly. His wife visits him daily. He's also getting many calls, cards and visits from a plethora of friends. (Yes, I know what a plethora is). Do you know someone in a care facility? Has it been awhile since you've visited? Maybe now would be a good time to schedule a visit. Bring them some joy, bring them some love, bring them some water.